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The 730-Ton Ball That Keeps The Taipei 101 Earthquake Tolerant Is Pretty Big, Heavy

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The Taipei 101, once the world's tallest building, sits a paltry 600 feet from a fault line. So is the structure doomed? Nope -- it's rocking a uni-ball of steel.

To counteract the forces working against it, architects installed a $4 million, 730-ton tune massed damper, which is a big ball 18 feet in diameter, made of 41 steel plates, and suspended by strong cables 3 1/2-inches think. It's said to cut down on the swaying of the building by almost 40%.

Pretty cool stuff there. Anything that keeps buildings standing and people safe during an earthquake is A-okay in my book. Even if it is a 730-ton ball. Which, incidentally, explains why I've never taken a fall. *wink* Ladies?

Hit the jump for some more pictures, an animation of how the damper works, along with a video of the ball in action during the recent Chinese earthquake.

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The 730 ton stabilizing ball that keeps the tallest building in the world standing [dvice]

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