You’d imagine that among the many things that can qualify as “crazy”, a bridge isn’t one of them. We thought they were sturdy metal and concrete things made by men and math to get you from point A to point B without dying.
That’s what we thought. We were wrong. So, so wrong.
1. Root bridge in Cherrapunji: This bridge is alive!
Remember what we said about men, math, metal and concrete making bridges? Yeah, this is how wrong we were. In the Nongriat village of Cherrapunji, the local Khasi tribe has spent zero money and what looks like generations to tame trees into becoming a bridge. The strong roots of the rubber trees are the ropes of this bridge, and they’ve paved it with rocks.
Since Cherrapunji is one of the wettest places in India, ordinary wood bridges would collapse here. To guide the roots holding the bridge together, they use hollowed out betel nut trunks. So rocks, roots, and mud make 100 feet bridges that can support 50 people (or over 500 kilos). Oh, and some of these bridges are already over 500 years old!
2. Japan’s Eshima Ohashi bridge: The kind of bridge you’d expect in Grand Theft Auto.
If you want to die adventurously, Japan’s Eshima Ohashi bridge looks perfect for skateboarding down as you scream your last words. At 44 meters high, the bridge promises a sharp plummet down, and you can imagine the Japanese silently cursing “Not this crap again” as they reach the top of the bridge and double check their seat belts.
3. Dragon King Kong Bridge: Would you believe us if we told you this bridge is real?
‘Dragon King Kong’ sounds more like a fake martial arts move from old Bruce Lee movies where everyone flew through the air. But seriously, this is real. Here’s the architect showing off on Twitter.
— NEXT architects (@NEXTarchitects) October 17, 2014
The bridge takes inspiration from the Möbius ring and a knot seen in Chinese folk art.
4. Henderson Waves – Singapore comes here to get legally high.
The highest you can get on a bridge in Singapore is here, at Henderson Waves bridge, 36 metres above ground. Which makes sense – it looks like stoners built it. For some odd reason, the one thing Singaporeans love to do here is take jumping selfies.
5. The Rolling Bridge: London is so Brit.
While most of the bridges on this list are crazy, London’s Rolling Bridge is just practical and oh-so-Brit. It tidily rolls up when you don’t need it, and can get you across the Grand Union Canal when you do.
And then it curls back again so boat traffic can pass by. Hydraulic pistons power the steel and timber footbridge’s movement.
6. The Helix Bridge, Singapore: This would look so awesome during Diwali.
With those thin beams of steel, the Helix bridge looks kind of fragile. Nope, it can support 10,000 people at a time! It doesn’t only get you to tourist hotpots in Singapore, but is also a tourist hotspot in itself, with five viewing platforms that show you the entire Singapore skyline and Marina Bay events.
You have to look really closely to see how nerdy it is – coloured letters ‘C’, ‘G’, ‘A’, and ‘T’, representing the four bases of DNA (cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine), as the bridge is a homage to the DNA’s helix structure.
7. Don’t look at the Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai for too long. You’ll get dizzy.
Those loops make you say WOW. And kind of afraid if your car breaks down and you stall the traffic here – last clocked at 120,000 vehicles per day in 2006. The Chinese have described it as a dragon laying across the river. Which is expected – these guys love their dragons.
8. Langkawi Sky Bridge: SRK wrestled with Boman Irani here.
Every part of this bridge was airlifted to the top of one of Malaysia’s highest mountains, and assembled. To get to the Langkawi Sky Bridge (2,300 ft above sea level), you need to take a cable car and trek up for 15 minutes – but it’s worth it. On the route, you’re going to see waterfalls and a rainforest, and it gets you to one of the highest points in Malaysia.
So which one will you visit first?