Leaning Tower of London? Big Ben is Tilting

Time stands still for no one, and in London, it doesn’t even stand straight. Big Ben, perhaps the most iconic structure in all of Britain, is leaning, and the lawmakers who work in the shadow of the famous clock tower are trying to figure out what to do about it. In 2012, Members of Parliament discussed some drastic solutions to deal with the problem, even though it will be thousands of years before Big Ben achieves the precarious slant of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Experts agree that Big Ben is not expected to imminently topple over into the river that flows at its feet, but still believe studies must be conducted to mete out the options for the future. A surveyor’s report revealed that the top of the 314-foot-tall tower is about 18 inches off the vertical. The tilt lies at the tipping point, at which the lean becomes visible to the naked eye. While the cause remains unclear, tunneling in the area and natural sinking are suspected to be part of the problem. The tower was completed in 1858 as part of the new Palace of Westminster, after the previous palace burned down.