Wikipedia's 'featured' articles are some of the best on the site
Wikipedia's 'featured' articles are some of the best on the site

Wikipedia reveals the most-detailed 'featured' articles on the site

The Wikimedia Foundation has revealed the most-detailed featured articles on the site

Doug Bolton@DougieBolton
Monday 16 May 2016 14:15
comments

Wikipedia has unveiled the definitive ranking of some of its most in-depth, high-quality articles.

In a blog post, the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's parent company, detailed the site's longest 'featured articles', the articles considered by the site's editors to be the "best Wikipedia has to offer."

The detail and levels of research which go into these articles make them among the best on the site, and while some are unsurprising, there's a few more obscure topics which made it into the top 10.

Unsurprisingly, such a universally-known icon as Elvis easily took the number one spot.

Elvis Presley meets Richard Nixon in December 1970

His comprehensive Wikipedia page stretches to 17,659 words, taking in his early years, musical influences, and sex symbol status.

The story of Poland from the end of WWII to the fall of the Iron Curtain is a long and complex one, so it's unsurprising that it has such a mammoth Wikipedia page.

The article is 17,266 words long, and first became featured in 2005.

At 17,215 words, the article on America's development of the atomic bomb is incredibly complex, covering not only the science behind the weapon, but also the history of its deployment and its cultural impact.

The spectre of the bomb defined much of the second half of the 20th Century, so the size of its Wikipedia article is well justified.

Niche articles about international military history are often neglected on Wikipedia, but the 16,729-word story of Puerto Rico's armed forces is one of the best articles on the site.

The page's length and quality is mostly down to Antonio Santiago (AKA Tony the Marine), the American-born son of Puerto Rican immigrants, who is a Vietnam veteran and prolific Wikipedia historian.

Speaking to the Wikimedia Foundation in 2013, he said: "To be able to share my knowledge with thousands of people for free is beyond my comprehension. Only Wikipedia can make that possible."

Pius XII was Pope from 1939 to 1958, and became notable for his outspoken criticisms of Nazism and support of the German resistance. His article is 16,684 words long, and became 'featured' in 2006.

The story of the Byzantine Navy spans centuries, and its Wikipedia article (worked on by the WikiProject Military History editors) has almost 400 footnotes and 15,422 words.

Like Elvis, Michael Jackson became one of the world's most famous people during his lifetime, so the length of his Wikipedia page is hardly surprising.

Articles on the late singer appear in 177 different languages across Wikipedia, but the English version is one of the most-visited on the site. The day after Jackson died in 2009, his Wikipedia page racked up 5.9 million views in a single day.

This central American civilisation made huge advances in science, mathematics and art, and is detailed fully in a 15,083-word Wikipedia article.

The Kukulcan Temple in Chichen Itza is one of the most well-known Mayan relics

The number of spin-off articles about aspects of Mayan society, culture and history make this general topic one of the best-represented on Wikipedia.

Another classic from the editors at the military history WikiProject, this article is around 15,000 words long and provides minute detail on the targets, tactics and effects of the air war against Japan during WWII.

This conquest took the best part of 80 years to complete, and saw the Spanish finally conquer Guatemala during their colonisation of the Americas.

The article is 14,825 words long, and has often been named as the highest-quality article on the entire website.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments