London's Big Ben Is Leaning Like the Tower of Pisa

By Jesus Diaz on at

The Big Ben is leaning! Not as much as the Tower of Pisa, but you can see it with the naked eye. Right now, it's at an inclination of 0.5m at its highest point. And it's getting worse.

The keepers of the 96 metre high clock tower say they have been monitoring the tilting closely since 1999. According to their figures, the process has been accelerating since 2003. While before it was moving at 0.65 millimetres per year, now the rate is 0.9 millimetres per year.

They claim that this will not be a problem any time soon: "Our resident expert believes it will be between 4,000 and 10,000 years before it becomes a problem." They don't know what's behind this acceleration, however, and say that there's "no real proof what has caused it." Current theories include the extension of the Jubilee Line — which goes under the Parliament — and the clay ground on which the tower was built, which is now drying and may be causing the movement. [BBC News, Reuters]

Base image by Shutterstock / Daniel Gale