Sunday, October 4

the real green engineering.

[ india, cherrapunji. rootbridges. all other images from theoriens ]

what happens when man can't build a bridge.

why, grow one of course. this northeastern bit of india is one of the wettest places on earth (monsoon winds from the bay of bengal ensure that), streaked by many swift rivers and mountain streams. it is also native to the rubber fig, its use as a bridge better explained by its scientific name ficus elastica.

for generations now, people have been splicing betel nut tree trucks and guiding roots of the rubber fig through them.

the literally named 'double decker root bridge' can hold over fifty people at a time, which already include quite a few tourists.

this just took my breath away. apparently it also takes ten- fifteen years to be fully functional; i'm glad that here at least, human patience (inevitable or not) has allowed such a feat testament to the harmony nature and man can achieve. tolkien would be proud.