If you thought lowering your piano from a third-floor balcony because it wouldn’t fit through the door was hard, you’ll realize you got off easy after reading about these crazy difficult moves from around the world.
1. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
In 1999, the National Park Service relocated the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Outer Banks of North Carolina 2,900 feet from the spot where the light station had stood since 1870. The lighthouse, the tallest in the U.S., was originally 1,500 feet from the ocean but more than 120 years of stormy tides had eroded the sand. By 1999, the lighthouse was a mere 120 feet from potentially dangerous waves.
The project entailed replacing the original foundation with temporary shoring beams and supports, using hydraulic jacks to raise the structure six feet to place rollers beneath, and then rolling the tower 2,900 feet.
2. The Troll A Platform
The Troll A platform, an offshore natural gas platform off the west coast of Norway, stands 1,548 feet tall and weighs 1.2 million tons. Yet a crew moved the humongous platform 124 miles in 1995 by towing it into the North Sea.
“Not only is Troll A among the largest and most complex engineering projects in history, it is the largest object ever to be moved by man across the surface of the Earth,” according to Amusing Planet.
“Normally a platform’s legs are transported on their side and then – supported by flotation devices – are dropped into place. In the case of Troll A, however, the whole platform was assembled in one location, and then floated out to sea,” according to Amusing Planet.
The 124-mile tow took seven days.
3. Airlifting 100 Rhinos
Rhinos Without Borders is moving 100 Rhinos out of high-risk poaching areas and releasing them into the wild within Botswana, where the animals can be safe from poachers.
Moving the two-and-a-half-ton animals costs around $45,000 per rhino, and each move takes several months to complete. The entire project will cost around $4.5 million.
Each rhino is shot with a sedative dart from a helicopter and then kept in quarantine for six weeks. On moving day, up to five rhinos at a time are loaded onto a commercial flight plane to fly to Botswana.
“Recently, the dream became a reality when the first batch of rhino were successfully translocated from South Africa, by air, and safely released in their new habitat,” according to the Rhinos Without Borders website.
4. Shrink-Wrapping a Huge Boulder
It took eleven days in 2012 to transport a 340-ton, two-story high, shrink-wrapped boulder 106 miles from Riverside, CA to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the big rock was featured in the “Levitated Mass” art exhibit.
Movers hauled the massive boulder on a custom-built, 294-foot-long, centipede-like transporter between 10 and 11 p.m. and traveled “at the painstakingly slow speed of about 5 mph,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The 680,000-pound boulder is so large that work crews from about 100 utility districts will have to take down traffic signs, overhead wires and other obstacles to let the rock pass and then reinstall them later,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. The total cost of the project, including transportation and the sculpture site, was around $10 million.
5. San Jose’s Hotel Montgomery
The four-story Hotel Montgomery, built in 1911, featured 142 rooms, a ballroom and two dining rooms. In 1989, after the hotel fell into disrepair, San Jose officials decided to relocate the historic building.
“The Montgomery, which weighed an estimated 4,800 tons (4,354 metric tons), was jacked up so that specially-designed, remote-controlled, rubber-wheeled cars could be slid beneath it. Then the entire structure was moved 186 feet away to its present location,” according to How Stuff Works Science. The move cost around $8.5 million plus an additional $4.5 million to make the Montgomery earthquake-resistant.
6. Belleview-Biltmore Hotel
In 2016, the five-story, 156-foot-long timber-frame Belleview-Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, FL was relocated by rotating the building 50 degrees counter clockwise and then moving it back 350 feet.
Built in 1897, the 400,000 square-foot hotel “weighed in at 1,750 tons, making it one of the heaviest frame buildings ever moved,” according to Wolfe House Building Movers, the company in charge of the relocation.
“The building was set on 45 Buckingham Dollies and moved via remote control with two Buckingham Power Units. Once at the new location, the dollies were removed and the building was supported in place while the new foundation was installed.”
Featured image by Marjobani and licensed by Creative Commons