Bridges are a testament to man’s ability to solve problems and overcome obstacles, and much like the story of man is rich and varied, so is the history of the bridge. In fact, the history of bridges goes hand in hand with the rise of modern society.
Ancient Mesopotamian, while heavily regarded as the birthplace of modern civilization as we know it, was also on the forefront of science, technology, and engineering. Writing, math, the wheel, astronomy, and medicine all have roots in this ancient land, however, it was their invention of the bridge that helped connect the world and shape it into what we know it as today.
In the beginning bridges were very rudimentary structures that were designed to provide safe and easy passage over obstacles such as valleys, rough terrain and small bodies of water. These were built from easily accessible natural materials such as wooden logs, stone and dirt, but it was because of the materials used that limited these bridges in their application. Although undoubtedly innovative, early bridges lacked structural integrity as mortar was yet to be invented, thus, rain and wind would slowly, but inevitably, dissolved them. However, word spread across the ancient world of the basic principles surrounding bridges and when these engineering marvels reached Rome, everything began to change.
Ancient Roman engineers found that grinding volcanic rocks served as ideal material for making mortar, allowing bridges to be made stronger, larger and longer lasting than ever before. It was from the Romans example that the science behind bridge architecture and engineering spread through Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Since the original ancient bridges, mankind has broken down boundaries and designed and created numerous types of “safe passage.” Arch bridges, cantilever bridges, suspension bridges, truss bridges, the list goes on, but one thing that they all have in common is the fascination they hold for millions of people.
Today, bridges can be found in just about every country in the world, with many of them being considered beautiful accomplishments of man’s ability to design and create; blending function and aesthetic in ways that have captivated the attention of all. And while that is true for many bridges, there are a few exception. More specifically, there are some bridges that might have you questioning the sanity of those who designed it.
As we mentioned, bridges are designed to provide safe passage across ultimately dangerous and unfit terrain, however, it is due to this fact that certain bridges are in and of themselves a terrifying experience to cross.
So what are these landmarks that have gained infamy not by their function, but by fear they illicit? Glad you asked, for here are 15 of the most terrifying bridges you don’t want to cross.
Tropical rainforests are often referred to as the “jewels of the earth,” and the National Park of Montenegro in Costa Rica is no exception. Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all living animals and plants on the planet, which makes them a destination fit for anyone’s bucket list. With their plush greenery and creature filled canopy, it stands to reason that one of the best ways to enjoy this wonder of the world is from an elevated perch, or in this case, a bridge. However, while that was the intention for the Montenegro Bridge, it has seemingly missed the mark.
According to visitors, this wooden suspension bridge, which is part of a system of forest structures high in the forest's canopy called the Arenal Hanging Bridges, has a limited amount of handholds and is missing floorboards. While this might be a plus for your avid thrill seeker, it certainly does add an element of danger to your average nature lover. Although the Montenegro Bridge is one of the best ways to take in all the wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer, you will definitely want to be wary of your step.