These photos of Shanghai's cityscape were taken just 26 years apart

If there was any doubt about China's explosive growth over the past two decades, this unbelievable GIF will most certainly put those suspicions to rest.

The first picture, which was taken in 1987, shows Pudong, the area east of the Huangpu river. The second image, taken just last week, reveals the futuristic mega-city that is now Shanghai.

The Telegraph explains the stunning growth:

The second [photograph] shows... an almost unrecognisable vista in which dozens of high-rises and skyscrapers jostle for space around the Shanghai Tower, a 2,073ft "vertical city", which became the world's second tallest building on Saturday.

Shanghai's multi-billion dollar facelift began in the 1980s, during the early stages of China's economic opening to the world.

In 1990, Communist Party leaders in Beijing unveiled plans to develop the area to the east of the Huangpu into a "Special Economic Zone", and three years later "Pudong New Area" was officially founded.

Shanghai is now home to some 23 million people — an increase of 12 million since 1987.

[Source: Telegraph; GIF via Redditor SergeCalame via The Atlantic.]