(ORDO NEWS) — The landscape of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the Chinese province of Hunan resembles a picture from a sci-fi movie.
It is said that the sandstone pillars rising above the forest were the example that James Cameron was guided by when creating the soaring Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar (2009).
You can’t ride a mountain banshee around the area, but there is another good way to enjoy the sights. The park is home to a 300-meter elevator, the highest outdoor elevator in the world.
The world’s tallest outdoor elevator stretches along the stone pillars that inspired the soaring mountains in the movie Avatar.
According to Atlas Obscura, the Bailong Elevator (or Hundred Dragons Elevator) has been in operation since 2002.
In fact, the elevator consists of three double-deck elevators, each of which can accommodate about 50 people.
As the cars climb up, riders get a one-of-a-kind view of the park through the glass panels. The mechanism takes only one minute and 32 seconds to complete the journey.
By the way, the same “Avatar” will train the Russian military.
The bottom half of the Bailong elevator is built into the quartz sandstone rock, while the top 565 feet runs through an open steel shaft.
In addition to being the tallest outdoor elevator on Earth, it also holds the world record for being the tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator and the fastest passenger elevator with the highest capacity.
It may be the tallest structure of its kind, but there are longer lifts without panoramic views. At AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng gold mine in South Africa, the elevator descends to a depth of 7,490 feet, more than double the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
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Many conservationists have criticized the construction of such a massive structure in a protected national park.
However, there are some advantages to having an elevator; visitors can now explore the forest in one day, reducing the need for on-site infrastructure to accommodate overnight guests.
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