What If the World’s Most Massive Dams Break

A wall of water falling on land and flowing forwards in a quick and powerful mass of streams, eroding the ground and demolishing all structures it meets on its way, leaving nothing behind. It could’ve been a depiction of a tsunami, but it’s a human-made cataclysm: a dam failure. The earliest known disaster of this kind happened almost 1,500 years ago in the Arabian Peninsula, in the ancient kingdom of Saba. Today, a new dam stands in place of the historical one, built in 1980 and functioning well. A dam can be natural too, though, and when such a thing bursts, nothing good comes of it either. In Sweden, there once was a meltwater lake formed because of glacial debris blocking the course of a river. In 1794, locals received permission to dig a bypass canal to change the course of the river and safely transport logs through it. The work was finished despite many troubles, and the water began to flow… So what happens when dams fail? And what are the biggest dam failures of all time? #brightside TIMESTAMPS:
The Collapse of Marib Dam 0:19
Dam failure in Sweden 1:31
The Oroville Dam disaster 3:13
The Taum Sauk reservoir failure 5:22
Dam on the Otter Tail River 7:27 Preview photo credit: Photo taken on July 18, 2020 shows the Three Gorges Dam opening the floodgates to discharge the floodwater on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province: By Zheng Jiayu/Xinhua News/East News, https://www.eastnews.ru/pictures/picture/id/83800836/i/0/t/0
Animation is created by Bright Side. CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0:
Ruins of the Fergus Falls City Light Station, now known as Broken Down Dam, which collapsed in 1909: By Bruce Guenter/Flickr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57647618
CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0:
The completed replacement reservoir, viewed from the scour created by the collapse of the original: By Kbh3rd, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28457224
Partial view of the dam's emergency spillway (left) next to its main service spillway (far right) (2008): By Martin Alfaro, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6252756
CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0:
Ruins of Ancient Ma'rib in Yemen: By Bernard Gagnon, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18341048
Marib dam, Yemen: By Bernard Gagnon, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4444459
Ruins of the Great Dam of Ma'rib: By H. Grobe, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13283317
Dead Waterfall in Ragunda, Sweden: By Joel Torsson (Leojth), https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3747641
By KTrimble: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10068900 (Das neue Oberbecken der Stauanlage im Bau, November 2009), https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11044947 (Aerial photo shows reconstruction progress in late November 2009)
Kraftwerk: By Kbh3rd, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7081731
CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0:
An artist's depiction of the Great Dam of Ma'rib: By University_of_Calgery, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56655135
Oroville Dam, California, January 30, 2017: By Erthygy, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66167071
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