Skip to comments.The Root Bridges of Cherrapungee: Centuries-old bridges, grown from tangled roots
Posted on 06/25/2010 10:27:16 PM PDT by Crimson Elephant
n the depths of northeastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren't built - they're grown.
The southern Khasi and Jaintia hills are humid and warm, crisscrossed by swift-flowing rivers and mountain streams. On the slopes of these hills, a species of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system thrives and flourishes.
The Ficus elastica produces a series of secondary roots from higher up its trunk and can comfortably perch atop huge boulders along the riverbanks, or even in the middle of the rivers themselves.
The War-Khasis, a tribe in Meghalaya, long ago noticed this tree and saw in its powerful roots an opportunity to easily cross the area's many rivers. Now, whenever and wherever the need arises, they simply grow their bridges. In order to make a rubber tree's roots grow in the right direction - say, over a river - the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems:
The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight out. When they reach the other side of the river, they're allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time, a sturdy, living bridge is produced.
The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they're extraordinarily strong - strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time
(Excerpt) Read more at atlasobscura.com ...
I love atlas obscura! heh
well, that’s all very well and good but .... Did they have a permit? Was it inspected by the EPA? Can it be insured? Do the trees have a legal representation? Is this plant abuse? Here are uman beings (you know the lowliest creatures on the planet) perverting Gaia’s wonders for their own selfish purposes. What is this world coming to when people can just go around on their own and make something for themselves out of anything handy without any policy or guidelines or safety inspections?
This was just on TV 2 days ago. I think it was that show with the annoying scottish guy.
Might as well charge a toll too. lol
Coming to a river near you.....
“On the slopes of these hills, a species of Indian rubber tree with an incredibly strong root system thrives and flourishes.”
Stretch Armstrong ping? San Luis Rey ping?
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