We pass by fences every day without giving them much thought; but do you know its history is filled with odd stories?
1. Farming Started It All
Fences were first built to protect farmland and to keep livestock contained in an area. As agricultural activities increasingly became more and more popular, it became more important for farmers to designate specific areas to grow their crops and keep their livestock.
2. Then Came the Need for Defense
These days, fences are put up to indicate the perimeters of private land and to secure the premises of a home or building. This is a tempered version of one of the original objectives of putting up fences — to defend communities from attacks ad invasions.
3. Moats Were a Cheaper Alternative
When fences became a common feature in most homes or properties, the next best thing to putting one up was to dig around the area to create a shallow ditch and fill it with water. Moats became a cheaper way to create protective barriers.
4. Electric Fences Are Not Always Lethal
The voltage levels of electric fences aren’t always lethal. One exception were those used in the Second World War; they were built to stop prisoners of concentration camps from escaping. The only lethal electric fences that exist today are on the border between North and South Korea.
5. Australia Has Two of the Longest Fences
Dingo Fence is considered to be the longest fence in the world, measuring at an extensive 5,614 kilometers in length and and 5 feet, 9 inches in height. It took five years to build, from 1880 to 1885. For the most part, it was built to keep wild dingos out of the agricultural lands of the Southeastern part of Australia. The fence also goes by the name Dog Fence, for obvious reasons.
The second longest fence in the world is called the Rabbit Proof Fence. It was constructed in 1907 and runs 3,253 kilometers long — two times the length of the Great Wall of China. Just like the Dingo Fence, the Rabbit Proof Fence was built to prevent rabbits from damaging food crops.
6. Weird Walls in Ireland
Locals and tourists alike have noticed aged stone walls that often lead to nowhere. They are most commonly seen going straight up a mountain, petering out eventually. These walls were created during the Great Famine, a time when due to the disproportionate reliance on potatoes by the Irish people, widespread starvation ensued. With the government handing out food rations in the hope of solving the problem, they deemed it necessary for its citizens to work for it, mandating citizens to build the walls to get their share.
7. The Great Wall Is Filled with Myths
Built during the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall of China was once the longest fence in the world. But beliefs about the wall being visible from outer space turned out to be a hoax. Although it is considerably long, the wall is only several times wider than the standard vinyl fence, much like the fences in Hamilton.