Model railroad enthusiasts, we have found your Mecca.
Miniatur Wunderland (it means "miniature wonderland" in German, if that wasn't clear) is the world's largest model railroad, with over 39,000 feet of tracks taking up over 12,000 square feet in Hamburg. Though Miniatur Wunderland began construction in 2001, the project is not expected to be finished until 2020, at which point it will be twice as big as it is today.
With over 890 trains, 300,000 lights, 215,000 trees, over 3,000 buildings and over 200,000 human figurines, Miniatur Wunderland is (on tiny scale) bigger than some major cities. Over 500,000 hours have been spent working on the project, which includes representations of the Harz, Knuffingen (a fake city), Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and an Airport, with France, England, parts of Africa, and Italy to come. One day lasts 15 minutes in this fantastical land, as a computerized controls it.
Each of these cities has its own attractions, built in crazily meticulous detail. Knuffingen has fake firemen and policemen, with working engines and sirens. America, while smaller than Hamburg, contains a tiny Las Vegas (which has 30,000 lights), Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite Park and Cape Canaveral. Over in Scandinavia, the northern Baltic Sea is filled with 33,000 liters of running water, with low and high tide simulated every 30 minutes. A little fleet of 25 ships (soon to be operated on autopilot) float on its surface. Switzerland has a chocolate plant, and an open-air concert with 20,000 concert-goers.
It is insane. But don't take our word for it: Check out this video of the Miniatur Wunderland, with bonus narration by a German-accented robot. You'll see tiny figurines having sex in a field of sunflowers, tiny figurines going to funerals and being chased by UFOs, breathing fire, weight-lifting cows, picking up hookers, riding in giant bee-machines, and more.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more