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Why doesn’t the Leaning Tower of Pisa fall over? - Alex Gendler

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In 1990, the Italian government enlisted top engineers to stabilize Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. There’d been many attempts during its 800 year history, but computer models revealed the urgency of their situation. The tower would topple if it reached an angle of 5.44 degrees— and it was currently leaning at 5.5. What gives the tower its infamous tilt? Alex Gendler explores the monument's history.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Vicente Nirō, AIM Creative Studios
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Producer Tom Knight
  • Composer André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Storyboard Artist Vicente Nirō
  • Illustrator Vicente Nirō
  • Animation Vicente Nirō, Mirta Brkulj
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
It’s one of Italy’s most iconic tourist attractions. But why does the Tower of Pisa lean, and how is it still standing?

Learn more about the famous tower, including visitor info, take a virtual tour, or read the account from the American soldier who narrowly spared it from bombing. For more technical details, check out this timeline of the tower’s construction, this civil engineering report on the stabilization work, or this detailed overview of historical and modern attempts at stabilization.


TED-Ed
Lesson Creator
New York, NY
08/22/2019 • 
 93 Responses
 / 93 Updates

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Vicente Nirō, AIM Creative Studios
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Producer Tom Knight
  • Composer André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Storyboard Artist Vicente Nirō
  • Illustrator Vicente Nirō
  • Animation Vicente Nirō, Mirta Brkulj
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more