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12th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Living root bridge

Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya, India - an example of engineering with nature. The 'Ficus Elastica' tree has the unique capability of growing a secondary set of aerial and buttressing roots to support its heavier branches. The locals of the area have figured out a smart way of using this capability to build bridges over lakes and streams. These secondary roots of the tree are intertwined and directed along an intended direction with external support. Over the years they grow and once they reach the other end, they are allowed to take root in the ground. The entire process takes somewhere between 10-15 years and forms a sturdy bridge capable of holding the weight of unto 50 people at a time. I had heard about these for a while and finally had the fortune of seeing it at Mawlynnong, Meghalaya on my recent trip to India. Mother nature is indeed amazing!

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2014
Photo Location: Mawlynnong, India
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Copyright: © Mausam Hazarika