History is filled with examples of barriers erected to keep the barbarians, or the locals, or religious zealots, either in, or out, of various countries, but walls and fences have one thing in common – no matter how massive they may be, sooner or later, they all fall down. The Great Wall of China, the world’s longest man-made structure, covered 4,160 miles, averaging 16.4 feet in height and was built over a period of centuries. Today, it’s one of China’s biggest tourist attractions. Hadrian’s Wall, measuring 73.5 miles and standing from 16-20 feet tall. A few sections still survive, up to 10 feet in height, but old Roman Hadrian is long gone, and so is his wall. The Berlin Wall was 97 miles of reinforced concrete, standing 11.8 feet high at its peak, dividing East and West Berlin. It lasted 28 years, until it was dismantled in 1989, but in its heyday, 125 people died trying to escape the communists for the better life in West Berlin.
Planned or standing: The US-Mexico Barrier Wall, covering about 700 miles of the US southern border with Mexico at a cost of at least $2.2 billion. The Israeli West Bank Barrier, on average 25 feet high and 436 miles long, with plans called for its completion in 2010. The India/Bangladesh border fence of barbed wire and concrete will cover 2,500 miles of the entire border, costing $1.2 billion, in an effort to keep Muslim extremists out of India. When finished it will reach eight feet tall.
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