Ever since humans built the first hut, the race has been to build ever higher. Vsauce looks at our tallest structures and contemplates how high we can ultimately build.

Video Summary

Even though the Empire State Building and the Sears Tower were once the tallest buildings, they were never the tallest “thing” in the world. There was always a radio or TV tower somewhere in the world that was taller. Up until recently, the tallest man-made thing in the world was the Warsaw radio mast. Currently, the tallest thing is legitimately a building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tallest thing we could build in theory is a space elevator. If a structure were so tall that it reached the altitude of a geostationary orbit (about 35,000 km high), the centrifugal force the structure would feel would counterbalance the force of gravity. This would keep the space elevator’s tension stable. Unfortunately, there aren’t any materials known to science today that are strong enough to build a structure high enough.