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If you run out of islands, just build some more.
TERRA-IFFIC

How humans shape the earth’s surface, as seen from space

By Johnny Simon

In the name of religion, nation, trade and progress, mankind has molded the surface of the earth into all kinds of shapes, from the pyramids at Giza to artificial islands. This week, Saudi Arabia even threatened to turn its neighbor Qatar, which is currently a peninsula, into an island by digging a canal along the border.

Many of these changes and structures are so big, they’re visible from space—albeit with sophisticated satellite imaging, or thanks to astronauts wielding strong telephoto lenses. Here’s a selection:

NASA
The Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island in Doha, seen in 2017
NASA
Artificial islands in Dubai, as seen from the International Space in 2010.
NASA
Greenhouses in Cayambe Valley Ecuador, 2017
NASA
Venice and it Grand Canal, seen in 2009 from the International Space Station
NASA
Bridges over the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey.
NASA
The All-American Canal, along the US-Mexico border.
NASA
A massive cluster of greenhouses in Almería, Spain, seen in 2012 by an astronaut on the International Space Station in 2004.
NASA
The Pyramids at Giza, seen in 2012 by an astronaut on the International Space Station.
NASA
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, seen by an astronaut on the International Space Station in 2006.
Reuters
A satellite image of Mecca during the Hajj in 2002.
NASA
Salt farms in the Atacama Desert in Chile.