Saturday, September 19, 2009

Living root bridges of India

When the War-Khasis tribe in Meghalaya needs a new bridge to cross one of the many criss-crossing rivers of the cherrapunji region, they don’t build one. They grow it.
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.

Because they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time – and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunji may be well over five hundred years old.

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