Mississippi River Basin Model | 100 Wonders | Atlas Obscura


In 1942 the US Army Corp of Engineers started building what is the greatest model ever made So in 1927 America suffered what Herbert Hoover called “the greatest peacetime calamity in the countries history” the Great Mississippi Flood it flooded seven states, half a million people were displaced and it cost the country a third of their entire federal budget at the time but mainly it was just terrible and so the US Army Corp of Engineers did what they do up and down the Mississippi they built levees and everyone was like “Cool!” no more flooding, we tamed nature, and then in 1937 it flooded again because every time they built a levee somewhere that area wouldn’t flood but a town just a few miles down would be destroyed they didn’t understand how the river really worked Corporal Eugene Reybold, this guy had a genius idea he was like “Why don’t we model it?” And what this meant was literally why don’t we build a gigantic model of it? So the notion was, let’s make a scale model a tiny version of the entire Mississippi river basin the scale of this model is amazing it meant building a model of 40% of the entire US eight miles of tiny streams It’s so big you can’t see it except from a plane or helicopter because it’s spread out over 200 acres the whole thing was a hydraulic model so they could just pull a lever and run through an entire flood and it let them put up little levees and figure out “OK, if we put up a levee here, what happens down the river?” They used it to stop a flood in Omaha and save sixty five million dollars At the time it was also a wonder people came to visit it they came to stride like giants across the landscape the Army Corp of Engineers went to the trouble of building little buildings and making sure all the towns had names and so it was this kind of incredible experience and families would come to stride across the land you could walk from the south to the midwest in five minutes six years after they finished it, they were done the last test using the Mississippi River model was run they didn’t need it anymore they left it, they just walked away basically and then they gave it to the city of Jackson, Mississippi and they didn’t know what to do with it they didn’t have any money so they have literally just left it rotting in the middle of the park where it is today the Army Corp of Engineers set out to build this model but they also made this kind of beautiful sculpture so today the tiny little banks of the Mississippi are slowly being overgrown with actual foliage Click here to subscribe, click here fro more videos and it’s just, it’s awesome it’s so cool. it’s like an engineers disneyland if you are ever in Jackson, it’s the thing to do people have their little RC car competitions there and it’s great, I will link to one of those RC car videos at the end of this video here, look at the, i dunno… look at this RC car video

20 thoughts on “Mississippi River Basin Model | 100 Wonders | Atlas Obscura

  1. I think Coral Castle in Florida would be an appropriate topic for you guys.

  2. One of my closest family friends was a surveyor with the Army Corps of Engineers and helped build and run the entire model. It was fascinating to tour the model with him prior to the city letting nature run wild. Also, there was a POW camp about a mile or so away from the main buildings.

  3. In the video you call Eugene Reybold a Corporal. This is incorrect. He was a Major and district engineer for the Corp of Engineers at that time. He went on to become a Lieutenant General as Chief of Engineers during WWII.

  4. For this one, you should have held two cups of water, one clean, and one full of flamable sludge, like the real river!

  5. my friends and I (and a bunch of other teens around central Mississippi) visit it now to explore the abandoned buildings and the model itself. It's pretty crazy to see the run down, completely abandoned model and know the history behind it only for it to be let to rot. Almost devistating to think about.

  6. Fantastisch gut beschrieben – obskur OK – Ja – mehr als seltsam – Modellprojekte die selbst zum Modell wurden (Delta-Projekt NL), Grossartig (great). Knapp beschrieben, schön dargestellt. Sehr gut erklärt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *