Root bridges in India

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Sep - 18 - 2011

India – a country of mysteries, miracles and spiritual enlightenment. Local gods can boast of a trunk and four hands, the dogs have a third eye, and bridges – are growing by themselves.

One such root bridge grew up in – the most humid place on earth. More precisely, grew a huge fig tree, and so cunning locals hit upon in order to “tighten” the plant as crossing a mountain stream. The most amazing thing- unpretentious ficus root and on the other side of a rocky gorge.

However, local residents were not satisfied with a bridge – they built another one a little higher. Fortunately, the root system of Ficus can do it. Ficus elastica – the so-called this plant scientists. Its uniqueness in the fact that the roots of a tree do not grow there, where we put all the normal plants – that is underground, and gley have to – and can break through the barrel. This phenomenon was given a special botanical name – “secondary root system.”

Discoverer of the root bridge is Dennis P. Wright.He is so interested in unusual plants,that he spent hours telling about them to anyone who was willing to listen, and even spent some time organizing special interest tours to India,so that the Europeans could appreciate the natural beauty of the crossings.

In order to ficus roots growing in the right direction, people Cherapundzhi use special scaffolding – hollowed-out trunks of betel nut. Thin, delicate young roots grow in the bed of well-trodden, and when they reach the other side,they are rooted in the soil. To “construct” one such bridge takes about 10-15 years, however, the final result is worth it: ready bridge can withstand up to fifty adults. Moreover, the older bridge is stronger – the roots become similar to the strong steel cables.

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