Great Wall of China not visible from space

The Chinese government is removing the myth from a textbook.

Here is the official story from CNN Online:

BEIJING, China (AP) – The myth about China’s Great Wall has come tumbling down, thanks to the nation’s first man in space.

For decades, the Chinese propagated the myth that their most famous creation was visible from space. Elementary-school textbooks in the world’s most populous nation still proclaim that the structure can be seen by the naked eye of an orbiting cosmonaut.

But the myth was shattered upon Yang Liwei’s return from a 21 1/2-hour space jaunt last year, so schoolbooks will be rewritten, the Beijing Times newspaper reported Friday.

The wall stretches thousands of miles across northern China but is only a few yards wide, making it impossible to see from space.

A Ministry of Education official in charge of teaching materials for China’s schools said the textbook’s publisher was informed to stop printing the essay that recounts the falsehood.

Welcome to the Straight Dope.

Just so you know for the future, it’s polite to put a link to the column you’re referring to, so that the rest of us understand what’s going on.

Looks to me like the column is Is the Great Wall of China the only manmade object you can see from space?.

Just goes to show that given a choice between Cecil and a textbook, always pick Cecil. :slight_smile: