Monday, August 17, 2009
The Living Bridges of Cherrapunge
In India, the wet climate of the Khasi and Jaintia hills is the ideal habitat for a specie of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system. The War-Khasis, a tribe in Meghalaya first discovered that the roots of the Ficus elastica can be used as bridges to cross many rivers. A root-guidance system, made out of hollowed betel nut trunks, is used to ensure that the roots grow in the correct direction. It takes ten to fifteen years to grow a single extraordinarily strong bridge that can support the weight of fifty and more people at once. The bridges also becomes stronger and stronger with time, since they are alive and still growing. The people of the villages around Cherrapunjee still use the bridges today and some villagers states that some of the bridges are well over a hundred years old.
For more cool bridges see also:
AMAZING WATER BRIDGE IN GERMANY