If good fences make good neighbours, countries on both sides of these 11 biggest fences in the world are the best neighbors ever. These fences are built for various reasons. Some are built to prevent illegal immigration, some to stop drug trafficking and smuggling, while some try to prevent conflict in one country spilling over to another. But when you boil it down to essentials, they are designed to keep one group of people away from another one, just like the highest security prisons in the world.
Border barriers are nothing new. The most famous one is the Great Wall of China, built to keep those pesky Mongolians away from rich and civilized Chinese lands. Series of fortification totaling more than 13,000 miles in length are considered one of the greatest feats of human engineering. Unfortunately, it did little to stop Mongols and they eventually conquered China.
Another attempt at keeping rowdy neighbours out was Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. Built in just 6 years starting in 122 AD, it stretches 73 miles from River Tyne to Solway Firth, roughly separating today’s England and Scotland. The wall was never really put to the test, as Romans packed up and left Britain some 250 years later, leaving the province to fend for itself as it slides back to barbarism.
Perhaps the most glaring example of influence these barriers have on people’s lives is Berlin Wall. Built in 1961 to separate Soviet-controlled part of the city from Allied controlled one, it was demolished in 1989, after Reagan’s famous speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear this wall down!”
In recent years, a number of border fences has gone up across the world. For many, this is a troubling fact, and a sign that divisions among people are reaching critical levels. In almost every case, the country which is on the wrong side of the fence is protesting its construction. Modern barriers face different challenges, like the Egypt–Gaza barrier, which extends some 60 feet underground, to prevent Palestinians from digging tunnels for smuggling. Border fences are often electrified and equipped with security cameras, motion sensors and land mines to serve better their only purpose – keep people separated.