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Growing Your Own Bridge

For more than 500 years, locals living deep in the rainforests in the village of Nongriat, India have guided vines and roots to stretch horizontally across rivers and streams to make living bridges. The natural bridges are much sturdier than conventional wooden bridges because they are still living so they do not rot.

The ‘double decker’ living tree root bridge is made from the their native rubber tree (Ficus elastica). When the roots and vines reach the opposite side of the river bank, they are allowed to take root. The vines create a sold latticework structure strong enough to support the weight of over 50 people. Some of the bridges are over a hundred feet long and can take up to fifteen years to grow. And because the growing bridges are still alive, they actually get stronger over time.

 
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