The Cherrapunji living bridges

The Cherrapunji living bridges1

Although it sounds like a metaphor, it’s not. The bridges with roots in Cherrapunji, India, are indeed alive. Unlike most bridges from around the world, the ones here are grown and not built.

Known as the most humid place on Earth, Cherrapunhi is the home of some of the most amazing plants. One of them is the elastic Ficus, a variety of rubber tree, which is developing a set of secondary roots at the soil surface. War-Khasis, a local tribe, has seen this plant potential.

DRAWING arteries with a type of acorns emptied of content, the people of this tribe are able to target the roots of the tree by their own choice. When they cross a river, the plants are allowed to return to the ground and, over time, a solid bridge is formed. It takes between 10 and 15 years to clot such a formation, becoming more powerful from year to year and lasting even centuries.

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