Strangest Bridges
The Rolling Bridge - Photograph by Loz Pycock

Made by Nature and by Man: the Strangest Bridges of the World

In this article, guest contributor structure analysis software experts Oasys spotlight the strangest bridges in the world.

Just like some buildings, certain bridges can hold incredible stories. Others are simply a sight to behold! With bridges built with a little help from Beelzebub and others built with nothing but Mother Nature and patience, there’s a world of stories out there.

 

England — The Rolling Bridge

Heatherwick Studios created this bizarre steel bridge for an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octagon shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!

 

Norway — da Vinci Bridge

The blueprints for this bridge were drawn by Leonardo da Vinci with the intention of being built in Istanbul. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible.

The bridge was built in Norway, and became the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.

Strangest Bridges
Da Vinci Bridge – Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg

 

Vietnam — Dragon Bridge

Strangest Bridges
The Dragon Bridge – Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures

Talk about extravagant! Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight. The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights.

The bridge is designed to allowed the “dragon” to breathe fire too. In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.

 

Germany — The Devil’s Bridge (Rakotzbrücke)

Strangest Bridges
The Devil’s Bridge – Photograph by A. Landgraf

When viewed with its reflection, Rakotzbrücke looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross.

Earth Trekkers notes how the bridge’s design was intended as a masonry challenge. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul.

In order to protect the bridge, it is not possible to cross it anymore. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!

 

India — Living Roots Bridges

Strangest Bridges
Living Roots Bridge – Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose

“Good things come to those who wait” perfectly encapsulates these bridges. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm.

Sources:

https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/

http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges

https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/

https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges

https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/

https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1510-da-vinci-bridge-finally-built-after-500-years/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_inventions_of_Leonardo_da_Vinci#Bridges_and_Hydraulics

http://www.vietnam-guide.com/da-nang/attractions/dragon-bridge.htm

https://www.louisberger.com/our-work/project/fire-breathing-dragon-bridge-vietnam

 

 

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