October 12, 2011

One More Thing: Big Ben

The leaning tower of...London?

Jessica: It is hard to tell at first glance, but Big Ben is out of line. The top part of the tower, the spire, is off by 18 inches, forcing the famous landmark to tilt northwest.

“Well, we’re talking about a 300-foot tower which has a 0.26-degree lean, which is absolutely minute. To give you some idea, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 5-degrees, so it’s not even a twentieth of that.”

Jessica: Experts predict it will be another 4,000 years before Big Ben’s tilt matches Italy’s famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

“It’s very, very small. But obviously we are monitoring it, and if it increases then we would be concerned.”

Jessica: The tower has been slightly off-center since it was built in the 19th century. Experts say construction work on London’s underground trains is contributing to the shift.

But as of now, there is still plenty of time to snap pictures of the famous clock.


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