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Stunning Timelapse Charts the Growth of the 128-Story Tall Shanghai Tower

Joe Nafis's film lets you watch the world's second tallest building spring up in under three minutes.

Screencaps via

In 1990, Shanghai had the kind of skyline you'd expect to see in a charming Rust Belt city. Today, the Shanghai skyline is among the world's most stunning, and features two of the ten tallest buildings on the planet. This rapid growth and development is emblematic of China's explosion in economic might and political influence, and nothing symbolically captures that growth quite like this timelapse video by motion designer Joe Nafis, who stationed a camera in the city, documenting the last four years of construction of the 128-story high Shanghai Tower. When the tower was completed last year, it became the second tallest building in the world.  "The completion of the Shanghai Tower not only represents the financial success of Shanghai, it symbolizes China's new self-confidence and the shift in the global balance of economic power," Nafis writes in the video's description. Below, watch the tower arise in under three minutes, as if by magic.



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