Living Root Bridges
August 8, 2009 8:06 PM   Subscribe

I think this is Rivendell, not India.
posted by XMLicious at 8:15 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by captainsohler at 8:18 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Gorgeous and unique. Thanks for this post.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:37 PM on August 8, 2009

That is amazingly beautiful and so freaking cool. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Ruki at 8:44 PM on August 8, 2009

Root down.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:48 PM on August 8, 2009


(and then the bridge eats you)
posted by Artw at 8:57 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:00 PM on August 8, 2009

Oh, wow.
posted by Neofelis at 9:12 PM on August 8, 2009

Thanks homunculus.
I see this blog got the post from Atlas Obscura who borked the link (and the spelling) to the original site:
More pics at flickr.
posted by peacay at 9:40 PM on August 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Great, homunculus... another damn X on my world map of places I have to go to before I die.
posted by Kattullus at 9:43 PM on August 8, 2009

Haha! That's so awesome. Tribal life is such a curious thing.
posted by Askiba at 9:45 PM on August 8, 2009

Holy crap, the world is an awesome place.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:00 PM on August 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm stunned. I'm tempted to think that these aren't real and that they've been photoshopped. But I can't think of a reason that they couldn't exist. And they are really magnificent. Certainly too good for them to have not made mefi or some travel mag in the past. So I remain skeptical.

Oh Internet, is there nothing that you can show me that I do not disbelieve?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:18 PM on August 8, 2009

Great post homunculus, and ABOUT INDIA that too :)

It's been so long since I've heard that name--Cherrapunji (I had to look up your spelling to check if my spelling was right, so I hope it is) in my History classes back when I used to live in Dhahran. Oh, the memories... thank you, sir!
posted by hadjiboy at 10:39 PM on August 8, 2009

posted by dan g. at 10:42 PM on August 8, 2009

Wow. Yeah, this is something that I had never heard of or seen before. Somehow, having now both seen AND heard of them my night is improved quite a bit. Seems there are some things just magical enough to wipe away the dreary BS of retail for a bit.

posted by Stunt at 12:09 AM on August 9, 2009

Stunt - magical is the word I would use, too. It would not have surprised me a bit if the bridges were a thousand years old.

Awesome post.
posted by contessa at 12:24 AM on August 9, 2009

can you imagine the bitchin' tree fort you could make with trees like that?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:55 AM on August 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by sexyrobot at 1:57 AM on August 9, 2009

Let's take this a step further and get our greatest scientists to genetically engineer a plant that can be molded as it grows, but then solidifies as hard as steel.

Instead of bulldozing all the trees on a lot and replacing then with brick and asphalt, we would just plant the stuff and let it grow around the trees. Instead of putting in plumbing, we use the plant's phloem and xylem. Our structures are no longer merely carbon neutral, they are oxygen positive. We share our homes with thankful birds and insects.

Eventually, we learn how to grow furniture, machines, electronics. Your great-great-great grand child plants a seed, and returns in a month to a new swing set.
posted by arcolz at 2:02 AM on August 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

Brilliant post! The perfect union of nature's wondrous power and human ingenuity.
posted by Azaadistani at 4:22 AM on August 9, 2009

arcolz -

When I graduate from my bioengineering program last year, the unofficial, somewhat-joking, somewhat-serious goal of the class was to produce a tree that could be genetically engineered to grow a treehouse. We spent a LOT of time talking about it. I mean, it wasn't a serious academic goal for next year or anything, but we weren't entirely kidding, either.

posted by Cygnet at 5:06 AM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Such a cool find homunculus. Cherrapunji is known as the wettest place on Earth with 450 in of rain a year but a neighboring area is actually wetter.

Cherrapunji is in the North Eastern part of India, a very interesting part of the world for its biodiversity, culturally and geographically. It is called Meghalaya, which means "abode of the clouds". The capital is Shillong also known as the Scotland of the East. Cultural influences include hill tribes, Bengal, Assam, Nepal, Burma, Bhutan. It's 70% Christian, mostly matrilineal.
posted by nickyskye at 6:07 AM on August 9, 2009 [5 favorites]

Wowee. Now it's just a matter of harnessing this power and bending it to our will. Easy peasy.

Also, is it wrong that the second thing I thought of was the South Park episode in which Cartman gets a bunch of stem cells to create his own pizza joint?
posted by pyrex at 6:09 AM on August 9, 2009

these are awesome x10!
posted by snofoam at 8:23 AM on August 9, 2009

arcolz, Cygnet - people have been working at various forms of living tree houses for a short while. There were better examples, but my google-fu is weak this morning. Nothing as complex as arcolz's idea, but it's a start.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:46 AM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

That is right out of Ursula LeGuin's The Word for World is Forest. Fantastic.
posted by nax at 4:34 PM on August 9, 2009

Wow! They're amazing!

They remind me of this guy's living garden furniture and sculptures - only more magical!
posted by jonesor at 4:48 PM on August 9, 2009

These are absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for posting this.
posted by wander at 11:41 AM on August 10, 2009

We share our homes with thankful birds and insects.

I've done that. It sucked.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2009

Living, Growing Architecture
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on September 3, 2009

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