#3. North America's Largest Airport
Montreal-Mirabel International Airport was the largest airport ever envisioned, with a planned surface area of 397 square kilometers. That's larger than Montreal, the city that it served.
Via Wikimedia Commons
The first thing cut from the plans was "restraint."
It was designed to handle 50 million passengers a year. There was a subway system just for the airport, a high-speed rail system to and from the city and underground roads that led directly to the terminals themselves. If it sounds lavish, it was: Initial price tags were estimated at about a billion dollars.
The airport opened in 1975, just in time for the Summer Olympics being held in Montreal. And everything was great!
Until the Olympics ended.
Then the government realized that their projections of passengers flying into Montreal were way, way off.
Canada tried to save the airport by requiring all international flights for the city to land at Montreal-Mirabel, rather than the current (and much more conveniently located) Dorval Airport. The international response? Everybody shrugged and collectively decided: "Eh, we could do without Montreal." Most flights decided to skip the city entirely, and headed to Toronto instead.
"Wait! No, we were just kidding, eh!"
Today, only a small part of Montreal-Mirabel still functions ... as a cargo airport. The rest is either empty or has been sold off to private parties. Which turns out to have been a good thing, as for once the investors saw something as cool as an abandoned airport and didn't think "condos" or "private landing strip"; they thought "Hey, let's go play there." The passenger terminal area has been turned into a racetrack, complete with defensive driving classes and a go-kart school, and there's talk of transforming the rest into a giant space/water park, which we didn't even know was a thing before this sentence, but have now dedicated our entire lives to bringing about its culmination.
#2. The World's Largest Mall
Via Daily Mail
If China is about one thing, it's about having all of the world's largest other things. The Great Wall, Wonderland and now, the New South China Mall: The largest ever built. In addition to the 553-meter indoor/outdoor roller coaster, the indoor amusement park, the 1.3-mile indoor canal complete with boats and scale replicas of the Arc de Triomphe and Saint Mark's bell tower, there is also space for a mind-boggling 2,350 stores in the Dongguan's New South China Mall.
Via Daily Mail
In America, they'd all sell Chinese food.
Initial estimates forecasted that, of the city's seven million people, nearly 205,000 customers a day would be visiting the complex. But what they didn't bother to factor in was that Dongguan's huge population was mostly comprised of farmers and factory workers earning wages barely able to sustain them. Their priorities were more along the "Let's eat some food" lines than the "Let's spree it up at the H&M inside the Arc de Triomphe" lines.
Via Daily Mail
"For the last time, we don't accept rice or disillusionment."
As a result, when the mall opened in 2005, China achieved its goal of "having the biggest things in the world," with their newly unveiled Biggest Commercial Failure in the World. Currently, McDonald's is the highest grossing tenant at the mall, out of the total 10 or so businesses located there (most of which are Western fast-food chains coasting off the novelty factor).
If the roller coaster doesn't go by the drive-thru, we don't give a crap.
That's a 99.5 percent vacancy rate. They would have closed the mall a long time ago, but it has been deemed "too big to fail."
S ... success?
#1. A Particle Accelerator Three Times the Size of the LHC
When Switzerland first fired up their Large Hadron Collider back in 2008, the entire world cheered this monumental victory for science. Well, the entire world except for the United States, who'd actually had the site for the largest particle collider in the world for years. Texas' Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) is 55 miles long, three times the size of the LHC. So why wasn't the U.S. getting all that sweet science cred? Here, let's take a look at some photos of this amazing facility:
"Hello? Is someone there?"
"Anybody? Please, 55 miles is a lot of room to get lost in!"
"W ... what was that? Science, is that you?"
After building for two years, the U.S. government cut funding to the project. But only after a good chunk of the infrastructure -- buildings, facilities and 15 miles of tunnel -- had been dug out. Total amount invested before cancelling? Two billion dollars.
A lot of alternate uses have been proposed for the abandoned SSC: It was almost repurposed as a movie studio, a vault for the government to store vaccines in, a recording complex and a military training facility. But those projects all fell through for various, sometimes mysterious reasons. The closest the collider has come to seeing use was when an eccentric millionaire sought to start a data center there, but those plans collapsed as well when he suddenly and inexplicably died at the last moment. So there the SSC sits today, disused and empty, without even any practical security in place to guard the two-billion-dollar facility.
Aside from the curse that we're forced to assume the Anti-Science Gypsies placed on it, of course.
For more amazing images that will make your brain call your eyes liars, check out the all new Gallery of Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped. Or check out Brockway's tour of 5 Amazing Abandoned Wastelands Within Walking Distance of Major Cities.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how not to follow through on your resolutions.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!