Russian climbers took this amazing video while illegally scaling China’s tallest building

February 13

In case you haven't seen it elsewhere, you really do want to watch this video, recorded by a pair of vigilante Russian climbers who scaled the under-construction 2,073-foot-high Shanghai Tower in China. They also posted photos to their Livejournal (the social network is popular in Russia), which are as dazzling for their stunning nighttime views of Shanghai as for the sheer insanity of freeclimbing so high.

The climber-photographers, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, gained international attention last year for illegally scaling one of the ancient pyramids at Giza, from which they took similarly spectacular photos.

The Shanghai Tower, though still under construction, is the second-tallest structure in the world, after the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai (you can check out a panoramic, 2.5-gigapixel photo from the top of Burj Khalifa here). It's been under construction since 2008 – part of Shanghai's jaw-droppingly rapid growth – and is expected to open to tenants next year.

The climbers said they chose to scale the building  Jan. 31, Chinese New Year, because the anticipated security would be lighter. Chinese security officials are, generally speaking, not known for their sense of humor when it comes to illegally infiltrating a highly expensive national symbol. Still, if you're willing to free-climb a 2000-foot building, getting roughed up by the cops is probably not your most pressing concern.

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Max Fisher · February 12