A miracle of nature.
Cherrapunji is a small town in Eastern India, considered one of the rainiest places on earth. It drops an average of almost 12 000 mm of rain per year. However, locals do not lose heart, but use the rain to their advantage, building living bridges.
Living bridge is simply a bridge from trees that continue to grow. The concept refers to harbourkitchen: when plants are used as the basis of building structures. So, the famous floating Islands which builds native American people of the Uru of lake Titicaca. Tribe creates them from the plants and on top of them and lives. In the town of Cherrapunji in the Indian state of Meghalaya is Islands make suspension bridges.
High humidity allows local vegetation to thrive, and therefore bridges make it – a pleasure. Is used for the construction of ficus elastica (also known as “ficus elastic”) – a tree grows in adulthood, 30-40 m in height and thus has an extremely flexible aerial roots. They were then used as the basis of the bridge. Selecting a suitable specimen, its long aerial roots are thrown over the river or chasm. This may be the guide of bamboo (to bridge ROS where it is needed), which are then removed. You can instead use the rind of betalevel nut palms, which is related to the roots of the ficus. Peel will provide the next bridge in nutrients, and it will grow faster. A more useful twist all the roots together, so the design was more sustainable.
The result – the roots of ficus reach the opposite side of the river and grows in the ground. The growth of the tree forms more roots, and the bridge becomes stronger. In General, satisfied with everything: the ficus, and people. However, you need to constantly monitor architectural creation that it has not grown at random. The creation of such a bridge should be at least 10-15 years, and then all the 50 – grow roots 1-2 m per year.
When it was the locals, the peoples of chsi and jantia, began to build their bridges, history is silent. It is believed that Europeans learned about them in 1844, when orientalist, doctor Honoris causa, University of Edinburgh Henry Yule published an article about living bridges in the journal of the Asiatic society of Bengal. But probably the tradition of building such structures literally goes back a few centuries ago. Cherrapunji is in design, which for several hundred years, and they still will give odds to young! The secret of this sound – in the definition of the bridge: “live”. While he is in this and as the tree grows, the bridge is protected from putrefaction, which inevitably would have waited any other wooden construction in the hot and humid climate.
“Ripe” bridge capable of withstanding loads of up to 50 people, while it is possible to lay the boards or even the stones, creating the effect of the pavement. Everything else, such a design can be quite long. The longest bridge – 50 m, is located between the villages of Mawkyrwat and Rantilla (near Cherrapunji). And in the area of the village Nogreat there is even a dual bridge – one hangs over the other.
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