When speaking in the world today about something living to an inanimate object, an image immediately arises, something that looks like something living or creates a feeling of being alive. The age of new technologies allows you to create unique things, processes unrepeatable in their scale, but…. Even now, miracles remain, unique objects that are real and exist in the world regardless of technology. So, for example, living bridges…. Namely, they are alive, created jointly by nature and man. They appear, grow, take care of them, and every year they become stronger and stronger ... Living bridges are bridges created by tree roots in India, or rather, woven by tree roots.
The Cherrapunji region, in the north-east of India in the lower reaches of the mountains, has a very warm and humid climate, which favors the formation of strong and lush rivers. This area is considered one of the wettest and wettest places in our world, so the land in these places is literally all covered with various plants, or rather their roots. After all, they do not need to go deep into the ground - there is enough moisture so. Also, on the banks of these rivers, trees grow very rapidly - rubber ficus. Many years ago, local wild tribes noticed that some of the roots of this tree grow outward (secondary root system). And we decided to use this feature for personal purposes. They began to build, or rather "grow" bridges.
Rubber ficus is an evergreen tree, it reaches a height of 30-40 meters. With the help of special frames, the natives began to direct the roots in the direction they needed. When the roots of a tree reach the opposite bank, they grow into the ground. For 500 years of using this technology, local residents have managed to "grow" a huge number of bridges, which are more than 30 meters in length.
Living bridges can support the weight of about 50 people and are resistant to mountain streams and floods typical of this area of India. At the same time, the older the bridge, the stronger and stronger it is - the roots become stiff and look like strong steel cables. Therefore, it is living bridges that become the most reliable and cheapest means of transportation across rough rivers in this region of the country. The process of "building" such bridges lasts on average 11-15 years. And all this time it is necessary to constantly look after the tree.
The pioneer of root bridges for the modern world is Denis P. Wright. He was so interested in unusual bridges that he could spend hours talking about them to everyone, and even for some time organized special unique tours to India so that Europeans could see and appreciate the beauty of "living" bridges.
Nature and man can sometimes create truly amazing things.