Man's vision constantly exceeds his reach. It is our curse to dream bigger than our meager hands can build. So for every Hoover Dam or Empire State Building that gets built, there are 10 projects that were simply too unfeasible to see to completion. And for each of those 10, there are 10 more that seemed too unfeasible, but someone decided that that was bullcrap and powered through them anyway, only to abandon them shortly afterward. Because not everybody stops to think if they should do something, only if it would look awesome.
Quick, what's the world's largest theme park? Nope, it's not Disneyland. Not Disney World, either. Not even a Magic Mountain or a Six Flags. The world's largest theme park is China's Wonderland, and it's all right if you've never heard of it: It's basically a pirated copy of Disneyland (you wouldn't download a theme park, would you?) and -- oh yeah, it also never actually opened. When construction finally stopped in 1998, the builders had completed an entire village, a massive parking lot and a gargantuan fairy tale castle, then decided it would make a better Scooby-Doo set piece than a functional amusement park, washed their hands of the whole thing and walked away.
"Maybe one day some supervillain will love you like you deserve."
Actually, the park failed because, despite having a prime location just outside of Beijing, China first had to wrestle the land away from local farmers tending the area before starting construction. And the government's explanation of "We need you to stop creating food so we can spin around in little cars shaped like horseys" didn't go over too well. So the farmers fought the park every step of the way. This, combined with the general economic downturn, meant doom for the ambitious project. The park now sits empty. And this isn't "Tightly patrolled by security until we finish construction someday" empty; this is "A'ight, we're outta here. Y'all can just walk right in" empty.
"Now where the hell did we park our car?"
So the farmers (kind of) won, and despite being mostly finished, Wonderland was canceled. They've gone back to working the land around the park, and the only difference the whole ordeal made in their lives is that they now till their fields in front of a crumbling dream castle.
Via Washington Post
"If you build it, they will c -- wait, no they won't. Carry on."
In 2003, Dubai's economy was raging, and they were sporting more hasty erections than a seventh grade gym class. You could build anything in that city, not in spite of your structure defying logic, but because of it. Building permits weren't issued until every contractor spit in the face of reason first.
"Well, that's nice and all, but do you have anything ... just straight up fucking crazy?"
Such was the attitude when the Nakheel Company set out to create a series of new islands in the shape of a scale map of the entire world. Despite seemingly power-binging on crazy before ever drawing up the plans, they actually pulled it off: The private world-islands were completed in 2008.
Via Daily Mail
"There we go. That's how you slap God in the face. Nice work, everyone."
Which was exactly when Dubai's economy finally tanked. Nobody ever moved onto the islands, and the whole thing has just been sitting vacant ever since. No one's even been seen on one for months now, and the ocean has started reclaiming them inch by inch.
"Hello, and welcome to the Dub -- shit."
We'd like to talk about the Cincinnati subway system for a minute. For the two Cincinnatians with Internet connections who are scoffing right now, probably muttering something like, "Nuh uh, Cincinnati doesn't have a subway system," allow us to eloquently rebut.
"Yuh huh, Cincinnati does too have a subway system."
In the early 1900s, Cincinnati was one of the top growing U.S. cities. They'd already expanded beyond their borders and needed a mass transit system, but estimates for a new subway were around $12 million. Which sucked, because they only had $6 million in the budget.
They were hoping on one of the workers accidentally dropping the other $6 million.
But rather than rethink the project or opt for an alternate system, city planners threw caution to the wind ... then snatched it out of the air, hurled it to the ground and stomped on it until it spat teeth. They went ahead with a modified version of the $12 million plan anyway, until -- shocker! -- they ran out of money a little over halfway through. Most of a basic subway network had already been dug out and built, but then the city found they had no more funds to actually put anything inside of it.
"We couldn't afford 'trains,' but we had just enough money for 'terrifying.'"
Various attempts were made to try to finish the project, all the way up until the year 1948, when Cincinnati voted and passed the controversial Fuck It Initiative, and just decided to write the whole thing off. Other private uses have been considered over the decades, like a fallout shelter, a winery, an underground nightclub and even an actual bat cave, but today, the metro system still sits inert, and actually costs $2.6 million a year just to maintain its relative crappiness.
"We need another $500k for the hobo urination grounds, sir."