There is a place deep in the Indian jungles in the southern Khasi and Jaintia hills where something quite remarkable takes place. It could be described as a phenomenal piece of engineering, architecture and the wonders of nature all at once.
This particular section of India is also one of the wettest places on earth. On the slopes of these hills the ‘Ficus’ tree thrives.
This tree is a species of the Indian Rubber tree, its called that for a reason. The root structure of these trees is incredibly strong and it also produces a secondary root system up its trunk. This root system can quite comfortably perch on boulders which run along the riverbanks and in the rivers themselves.
What the tribes in the region do to “grow” the bridges in amazing. They literally guide the roots to where they want them using a trunk from another tree. This is sliced down the middle, hollowed out and then used as its own root guidance system. Brilliant…
The time frame changes from bridge to bridge but on average it take around 10 to 15 years to become fully operational.
The local tribes have taken it to the next level on some of these bridges, the most famous being the “Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge” – check it out below!
The most sturdy masterpieces are reported to be well over 500 years old and because they are technically “living and growing” they actually get stronger over time. They can take the weight of 50 or so people at any one time.
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It is wonders like this that make you really appreciate the world we live in sometimes. Please share using the buttons below.