Living Bridges Grown From Trees
These living bridges are created by the people of Nongriat in Meghalaya, India. Some are one hundred feet in length, and support up to fifty people at a time; others are double-decker bridges!
(Living bridge from ficus elastica)
The locals’ answer lie in the sloping hills hugging the contour of the water channels, where a species of rubber tree flourishes. From the upper trunk of the ficus elastica, secondary roots grow outwards with great profuseness. The tribes people realized half a millenia ago that they could use these roots to forge a pass across the water below, using hollowed out betel nut trunks to guide the direction of the roots’ growth.
Once the roots make their way across the water to the opposite bank, they take hold. Here, they continue to grow and strengthen, not only stabilizing the bridge platform, but also reinforcing the bank walls. The full cycle of bridge-growing may take ten to fifteen years to complete, necessitating the locals’ aboricultural knowledge to be passed on from older to younger generations, who will, perhaps, personally continue the former’s work.
(Living tree bridge)
Fans of the incomparable sf writer Jack Vance recall the living house trees from his 1954 novel The Houses of Iszm, which were grown from saplings lovingly tended by the Iszic:
The sphincter expanded and Farr stepped dubiously into the chamber…the pod was thirty feet long, opening on a balcony with a waist-high balustrade. The walls and domed ceiling were tufted with trefoils of a silky green fibre; the floor was heavy with plum-coloured moss; quaint lamps grew out of the wall. There were four magenta pod-chairs against one wall. In the middle of the floor stood a tall cylindrical vase containing water, plants and black dancing eels…
Farr lowered himself upon one of the frail magenta bladders. The smooth skin stretched and fitted itself to his body.
(Read more about Vance's house trees)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/22/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
NASA's Prototype Lunar Greenhouse For Mars And Moon
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Researchers Say 'Biohybrid Robot' - Clarke Said 'Biot'
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'
LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!
Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '
Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'
Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'
Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'
3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!
Flexup Tire Design Good For Tumblebugs
'Each spoke telescopes into five sections.'
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Asteroid Deflection With DART
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'
Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...'
News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick
'A vast complex electronic organism... responsible to no one...'
Autonomous BADGER Robot Drilling Machine
'The compacted matter... makes a better tunnel lining than concrete, don't you think?'
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories