Filed under: Architecture, biomimicry & Ecology | Tags: grow, roots, structural strenght, trees
In the depths of northeastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren’t built – they’re grown. The living bridges of Cherrapunji, India are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree. This tree produces a series of secondary roots from higher up its trunk and can comfortably perch atop huge boulders along the riverbanks. The War-Khasis, a tribe in Meghalaya, long ago noticed this tree and saw in its powerful roots an opportunity to easily cross the area’s many rivers. Now, whenever and wherever the need arises, they simply grow their bridges. So unlike our modern bridges, who need regular maintenance this bridge only gets stronger in time.
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