While the tallest building is well known, and the biggest or largest structures around the world often make news headlines, their shortest counterparts are left largely forgotten. Here, we shine a light on the shortest things around the world – they too, are record holders!
Often called the “world’s littlest skyscraper”, the Newby-McMahon Building is located in Wichita Falls, Texas, US. Built in a late Neoclassical style, with red brick and stone, the building stands a mere 40 feet tall – and nearly 25 per cent of its interiors are occupied by steep, narrow stairways. It was reportedly the result of a fraudulent investment scheme by a con man, and became a source of great embarrassment to the city and its residents after it was completed in 1919. Today, however, it’s a historic landmark of the state.
The Loganair flight LM711 travels just 2.7km from Westray, an island on the edge of Scotland’s Orkney archipelago, to the smaller, more remote island of Papa Westray. According to Guinness World Records, it’s the world’s shortest scheduled airline service. With a travel time that’s even lesser than the amount of time it takes passenger airlines to reach cruising altitude, the flight can reach its destination within 53 seconds. The plane carries eight people at a time, and is a lifeline for the 80 or so people who call Papa Westray home.
Ebenezer Place in Wick, Scotland, holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s shortest street, at 2.06m or 6 feet 9 inches in length. Ebenezer Place appeared in the town’s records from 1887, and it has only one address – a restaurant called No 1 Bistro that serves “Highland fayre” or traditional Scottish food.
The world’s shortest railway first opened in 1901, and then again in 2010, in Los Angeles, US. It extends a mere 298 feet – about two blocks – and costs 50 cents (Dh1.8) for a ride up a 33 per cent slope between Hill Street and Grand Avenue. Called the Angels Flight, the orange railcar is considered a piece of transit history, and it even has its own Twitter feed, @AngelsFlight.
Rivers are known for their long, meandering flow, but not all of them run for great distances. Tamborasi River in Indonesia has been measured at 20m long, and flows into the Flores Sea in Bone Bay. With its forest-clad rocky banks, cool, clear waters, and the white sand of Tamborasi beach at its mouth, the river attracts tourists for reasons other than its short run.