How Much Would It Cost To Build The Great Wall Of China Today?

There's been a lot of talk over the last few years about building walls. Not just any walls, either. The best walls. And with talk of building the best walls came the question of how much the best walls would ultimately cost, and whether or not Mexico would pay for them.

So let's assume that history is the best teacher. Let's take a look at what's generally considered to be mankind's crowning achievement in the field of wall construction, the Great Wall of China. Most importantly, let's keep track of how many times we use the word "wall" in the next couple of paragraphs, because it's probably going to get obnoxious.

The real cost of China's Great Wall

Everyone has considered building their own Great Wall of China at some point, but whether it's because the task seems overwhelming or because their local Home Depot runs out of Quikrete, the job just never gets done.

Then along comes China, making even more Great Wall in the form of a scale replica opened in 2015. The tourist attraction, which is roughly two and a half miles long, cost roughly $600,000, according to Big Rentz. They further extrapolated that a full-length reconstruction, stretching the entire 13,170 miles of the original, would run around $42 billion after factoring in materials and labor — not to mention the human lives it would undoubtedly cost along the way.

"But what if I also want my Great Wall to really hurt my feet if I step on it by accident?" you may ask. For that, we turn to intrepid reddit math nerds, who calculated that to create an all-Lego replica, you would need about six hundred million million bricks, with the total cost of materials coming to about $90 trillion. Factoring in Big Rentz' assertion that labor effectively doubles the budget of a construction project, and you're looking at roughly nine times the GDP of the United States, or approximately half the haul of a single Avengers movie.