When we think of the massively tall and man-made, thoughts don't readily turn to Wyoming and the states surrounding her.
Minds instead turn to a patch of Lake Michigan's southwestern shoreline with its Sears Tower or an island at the mouth of the Hudson River with its Empire State and Chrysler buildings.
But Wyoming does have a few structures that are probably tall enough to give most anyone who tried climbing their exteriors the heebie-jeebies and certainly tall enough to freak out a Kim Novak-chasing Jimmy Stewart.
Have you ever wondered what the tallest man-made structure in Wyoming is? And, while we're wondering along those lines, what are the tallest structures in the United States and in the world?
Many have heard it said that McIntyre Hall, which stands 12 stories tall at the University of Wyoming, is the tallest building in Wyoming.
Well, many have heard wrong. The tallest building in Wyoming is, at 24 stories, the Jim Bridger Power Plant in Sweetwater County, according to "Wyoming Almanac" by Phillip Roberts, David Roberts and Steven Roberts.
But the Jim Bridger Plant is not the tallest thing man has built in Wyoming.
That honor goes to a 700-foot antenna located outside of Gillette, according to Wikipedia, an on-line encyclopedia (www.en.wikipedia.org).
Wyoming's tallest structure is owned by the United States Coast Guard and is part of a low frequency radio system used for maritime navigation, according to Wikipedia. The power of this system, which is now being largely replaced by global positioning system technology, is demonstrated by the fact that Gillette isn't exactly near an ocean.
Although the 700-foot antenna is tall, it's dwarfed by some of America's tallest structures like the 1,453-foot Empire State Building, New York's tallest structure, or the 967-foot Bank of America Tower in Seattle, the tallest thing anybody has ever erected in Washington.
And the Campbell County antenna looks like a Hobbit compared to the tallest structure in America, which is located, of course, in North Dakota.
Yes, you read that right. North Dakota.
Towering 2,063 feet above the Northern Plains, the KVLY-TV mast outside Blanchard, N.D., is not just the tallest thing people have ever erected here in The States, it's the tallest man-made thing on the planet, according to Wikipedia.
The television antenna, owned by Fargo-based station KVLY, was built in 1963 and provides a broadcast area of roughly 30,000 square miles, according to Wikipedia. It is taller from its base to its top than any off-shore oil rig is from its base to top, according to the on-line encyclopedia.
After it was built, the Federal Aviation Administration imposed a height limit of 2,060 feet on anything built in the USA, Wikipedia states. So it looks like North Dakota will have the tallest man-made object in this country for a long time.
However, the KVLY tower's world championship reign may be coming to an end in a few years.
Over in the United Arab Emirates folks are building something in downtown Dubai called the Burj Dubai that may end up being taller than the tower in North Dakota.
The developers of Burj Dubai have stated that when the colossal structure is completed in 2008, it will not only be the tallest building in the world but also the tallest thing ever built by humans, according to Wikipedia.
But even if those oil-rich cats in Dubai manage to build a building that is over 2,063 feet high, the top of their building will still be about 11,700 feet below the summit of Gannett Peak, the tallest thing in Wyoming.
Have you ever wondered?
On the Net
Wikipedia - www.en.wikipedia.org
KVLY-TV - www.kvlytv11.com
Burj Dubai - www.burjdubai.com