And despite the fact that space travel wasn’t even considered a possibility yet, everyone believed the myth. But then again, it isn’t too hard to believe if you don’t think about it too much; the Great Wall of China is an overwhelmingly large structure that doesn’t have a lot of problems standing out from the surrounding greenery.
It is 21,196 km long, and has been around since 7th century BC. The myth that the Wall’s magnificence can be seen from outer space is thought to have been created by the English antiquary William Stukekey in 1754. In a letter, Stuckeley wrote that, “This mightly wall of four score miles (Hadrian’s Wall) is only exceeded by the Chinese Wall, which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe and may be discerned at the moon.”
Through the years, many innocent fun-fact enthusiasts have uttered this myth with confidence. In fact, it even appeared in a 1932 Ripley’s Believe it or Not Strip. However, actual space exploration has confirmed that outer space isn’t the place to go if you want to see the Great Wall (my apologies to all the disappointed astronauts and aliens).