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Videos

Daredevil Russians Climb the World's Second-Tallest Skyscraper

And then because that wasn't enough, walk on a crane more than 2,000 feet above the pavement.

China's tallest and allegedly impossible-to-rent skyscraper has finally found some occupants. Problem is, they're uninvited and only interested in staying for a moment to scale its cloud-rending immensity.

A group of Russian urban explorers going by the name of OnTheRoofs recently climbed over the fence surrounding the 2,073-foot Shanghai Tower, an in-construction building that's second highest in world behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa. From there, they expended an immense amount of calories humping up steps until they reached a prominence where, in disconcerting fashion, the city's other skyscrapers looked like reeds sticking out of a misty pond.

Then it was a hop and a skip to the tallest point on the edifice, the end of a construction crane hanging perilously over the fog-shrouded ground below. (Or maybe it was smog – it's hard to tell in this city.) The view is unimaginable. As one of the video's commenters has said, presumably only half-joking:

Watching this video may include side effects such as ...

Sweaty palms
Light headed
dizziness
uncontrolled bowel movement
rapid heartbeat

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.