The Top 17 Engineering Fails, Explained

There’s no doubt that we need engineers to make sure that buildings and other important structures are up to code so that we are safe. It is also nice to have those structures aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and serving a useful purpose.

However, sometimes those codes and rules are completely disregarded, and it leaves us scratching our heads wondering why.

Well, to help with that wondering itch, here are the top 17 engineering fails, explained.

1. The ghost door

Maybe this engineer knew something nobody else did. Perhaps this classroom was haunted, and he was giving the spirits that lingered a way out once their unresolved business was complete.

Let’s assume he was right, and just let that door serve its divine purpose.

2. Romeo, Romeo … Romeo?

Romeo, Romeo. Wherefore art thou, Romeo? … Romeo?

To some, this extra balcony may look strange, but it very well may have been put there to give dear, Juliette a better vantage point to locate here beloved Romeo.

How else can you justify all the work it took to put that thing up there?

3. Got Manholes?

Manholes serve as openings at intersections or bends in the sewer system below streets and sidewalks. And generally speaking, they are not highly concentrated in one place.

Except for these ones.

Which makes us think that perhaps they’re not manholes at all. Maybe this is where Splinter raises his teenage mutants … who are now demanding their own separate entrances?

4. The Drunk Urinal

You think you’re seeing two urinals side-by-side, but you’re not. You’re really drunk, and seeing double.

Go sleep the night off before you blame engineers for this one. And by that time, you’ll wish there were two urinals. #hangover

5. Timeout chairs

You know those unruly spectators that you wish you could kick out of the arena? Well, that’s what this section is for. It’s the “Timeout” section, aka, the go-over-and-sit-in -the-corner-and stare-at-the-wall-until-you-can-behave section.

Every venue needs one.

6. Stretch for that TP

Stretching is something you should do regularly to help improve blood circulation and muscle function. So, why not do it in the bathroom.

The engineer who designed this restroom may not have been thinking practically, but he definitely had flexibility in mind.

7. Escalator to … nowhere?

Escalators are a great tool to get you somewhere … or nowhere.

We really can’t explain this one away. Maybe the engineer was having a bad day.

8. The phone-on-a-booth

Forget the phone booth. Here you have the phone-on-a-booth. It’s really quite practical, really. Why occupy Superman’s changing room just so you can call your grandma collect?

We think this booth should be renamed, “The Save the World Booth.”

9. Giant steps

There are baby steps and giant steps that are taken when getting through this life, figuratively speaking. Then there are literal ones that have no place in our literal world.

Maybe the engineer was trying to teach the world a lesson.

10. A room with two views

Apartment life can be good. It can also be great if you are the choice person who gets to live in the unit with two windows.

Maybe the one in charge of designing this lovely building wanted to make someone feel special.

11. Hose valve, electrical outlet. They’re pretty much the same thing

You know that moment when you’re almost done with your plumbing job, and all you have to do is install a hose valve? Well, sometimes you find that you are all out of hose valves, so you have the electrician put an electrical outlet there instead.

It’s really no big deal at all. It’s not like anyone’s gonna try to plug anything in there.

12. When the air conditioning NEEDS to be repaired

Summertime can be brutal, and that’s when you throw caution completely out the window in order to ensure your home has air conditioning. Just make sure it’s caution you’re throwing out, and not your brave friend standing at the end of the extended ladder.

We can’t explain or even condone this one.

13. “You’re not going anywhere” stairs

This is either a mean joke or a sad reality. Either way, if you happen to find yourself in this room with a stairway to nowhere, run far, far away.

The engineer may have issues you’re not prepared to deal with.

14. A safe way down for no one

Complying with building codes can be difficult for any engineer. But, when you’re told to put in wheelchair acces and you instead put Hot Wheel tracks you got from your son’s toy box, you create something that isn’t safe for anyone.

On the bright side, you will have every 8-year-old visiting your building with their totes of Hot Wheels ready to race!

15. Half toilet

Well, there are such things as half baths, but those are bathrooms with a toilet and sink but no bathtub or shower. Maybe there was a little miscommunication between the builder and subcontractor.

Whatever the story is behind this half toilet, we’re sure it was a good one.

16. Train wreck

When building a railroad track, it is imperative that it be clear of anything in the train’s path, including buildings and poles. Hopefully the shiny, new railroad ties that have yet to be buried seem to be an indicator that this track is not yet finished, and no buildings or poles will be harmed.

17. Misplaced structural support

Safety always comes first, and if that means putting a load bearing beam in the middle of the stairway to keep the building from falling down, so be it.

We think this engineer should be commended for sacrificing aesthetics and function so the inhabitants of the building don’t get sandwiched.

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