The Biggest in the World

Through a comparison of large buildings like the Burj Dubai and large roadside attractions like the world's "largest pecan", Keith Eggener explores the drive towards big-ness.
September 14, 2010, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Whether one is speaking of the world's tallest building or the world's largest ball of twine (more on that in a moment), it is size that matters above all. These things are large for the sake of being large. They are not just large, they are the largest of their kind. They were made to be looked at (and from, in the case of tallest buildings); attracting attention is what they were designed to do. They were made to be marveled at, made to be measured. Largest things defy nature and transcend limits. They show what is possible and what it might take to push possibility beyond its existing boundaries. As the grandest exemplars of their kind, they are targets for competitive spirits, subjects of debate, records waiting to be broken."

Eggener discusses the record as the goal, and the vessel as almost immaterial. But, despite their clear connection, he finds an interesting difference between the biggest buildings and the biggest roadside attractions.

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Published on Monday, September 13, 2010 in Places
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