Scariest Bridges In The World
Here are the most terrifying bridges in the world you don't want to cross!Places
You wouldn’t usually give bridges a second thought; they’re normally just a means of getting somewhere. But some bridges are so terrifying, so toweringly tall, so downright pant-wetting you’ll be surprised they’re even legal! From rickety rope walkways to thin glass-bottomed crossings, hold on tight as I take you across some of the scariest bridges in the world!
Hussaini Hanging Bridge
The Hussaini Suspension Bridge in Hunza, Pakistan, is touted by many as the most dangerous rope bridge in existence. The rickety nightmare hangs above the murky Borit river, and if you fell off, you could very easily be swept away.
Made from nothing more than planks of wood haphazardly strapped together with rope, one slip could send you plummeting into the water below. In fact, even if you stepped with the utmost precision, you could still go flying. Which is, sadly, exactly what’s happened to at least 10 people according to locals.
And strong icy winds rock the nightmarish contraption back and forth all year round! If you somehow need even more convincing though, just look at the bridge it replaced in the image below, hanging in complete tatters next to it.
Incredibly, tons of seemingly unhinged tourists ignore the obvious signs of danger and walk the intact one every year to test their courage. For locals though, it’s less a game and more a perilous necessity.
East Taihang Glasswalk
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a serious fear of heights. Which is why I’d never even consider walking across a glass bridge. I’d be terrified something like this in the clip below would happen:
This is the East Taihang Glasswalk in Hubei, China, and luckily the glass isn’t actually cracking, it’s just special effects! The bridge is decked out with infrared sensors that can detect movement. When they sense somebody, light and sound effects are triggered to give the terrifying illusion that the bridge is cracking underneath their weight!
So, of course, people quickly took to pranking their friends and posting it on social media. The cruel joke is made far more terrifying when you realize the walkway is built a vertigo-inducing 3,870 feet above sea level though, which is higher than the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world!
Unsurprisingly then, there’s been more than a little controversy surrounding it. In fact, the administration of East Taihang had to administer an official apology! After a series of accidents on other glass bridges in the province, East Taiheng Glasswalk was closed in 2019, along with 31 other similar skywalks. They certainly went a step too far with this one!
Some bridges don’t look like they should be legal and the ghostly Kuandinsky Bridge in Russia is one of them. Heralded by some as “the world’s most dangerous bridge” it has no railing, no grip, and no safety features to prevent drivers from plummeting straight off into the ice-cold water below!
And that’s because it was never meant to be a bridge at all! At least, not one for cars. Built back in 1982, it was originally designed to be part of a railway system. However, the project was abandoned because of bad construction methods.
So, instead of completely shutting it down, authorities made the not-so-wise decision to leave it to become a river crossing for daredevils. If you’re brave or stupid enough to cross this death trap, there isn’t much margin for error.
It’s barely 6ft wide, which is just enough to fit a car on! And a lack of maintenance means the metal and wood it’s made from is decaying and in a near constant state of slipperiness from all the ice and snow.
While most of us wouldn’t be caught dead on something so treacherous, it turns out there are some people out there wild enough to try it. Those crazy few have even made their own Facebook group, where they can chat and exchange videos of them crossing the bridge.
Bach Long Glass Bridge
The Bach Long Glass Bridge in Vietnam’s Son La Province is the world's longest glass-bottomed bridge. It looms almost 500ft above the rocky ground below, and at a stupendous 2,073ft long, you’d have no chance of running to safety if anything went wrong!
The narrow pedestrian walkway stretches across an expanse of forest then winds around the mountains, offering a heart wrenching view of the sheer drop below. So, how can people be so sure it won’t shatter and send them plunging to their demise?
Well, a special kind of tempered glass panel has been used for the bridge’s floor. These are much stronger than standard glass, with multiple layers of vinyl incorporated into the glass panes for extra reinforcement.
The nifty technique makes the glass resilient to cyclones and hurricanes, and means the bridge can safely hold up to 450 people at once! Nevertheless, that doesn’t make it any less petrifying. What if a 451st person accidentally stepped on it? And if it rained, wouldn’t the walkway get treacherously slippery?
Rope Bridge At Tsingy De Bemaraha
No matter how perilous a rope bridge looks, if it’s built over a load of marshmallows, you’re not gonna find it scary. However, there’s certainly no marshmallows to be found beneath the rope bridge in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar, just tons of massive spiky rocks!
These otherworldly limestone formations have formed from hundreds of years of monsoon rains, wind, and floods battering and carving the rock. The resulting alien-like landscape has made it a go-to place for adventurers around the globe. Its popularity doesn’t make it any less dangerous though.
So, if you fancy going there, you’ll only be allowed to cross its many rickety bridges while securely hooked up to safety ropes. Which is reassuring, considering most of us wouldn’t want to slip and crash into the knife-sharp spikes below. Even so, dozens of people safely cross these bridges every day while taking in the stunning views.
Kakum Canopy Walk
The bridge in the image below is of the many wire rope bridges that hang precariously between the trees some 130ft above the ground at Kakum National Park, Ghana. To cross it, you’ve got to walk a plank so narrow that you need to place one foot directly in front of the next!
The petrifying plank-bridge is part of a seven-bridge network that extends over more than 1,000 feet of walkway, allowing anyone brave enough to get a truly once-in-a-lifetime view of the beautiful park. Brave being the key word though.
If the dizzying height alone isn’t enough to send shivers down your spine, the fact that the bridges rigorously shake around whenever you take a step might be!
Despite how scary it both looks and sounds though, it’s apparently super-safe. Instead of being made from rope or vines, the bridges are actually aluminum, so they’re sturdy enough to hold a lot of people without breaking. Tour guides are so confident in this that they’ve even been known to jump around on it before leading a group across!
Titlis Cliff Walk
At nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, the Titlis Cliff walk is Europe’s highest suspension bridge. It hangs over a hair-raising glacier in the Swiss Alps and is prone to life-threatening snowstorms that could hit at any moment! As well as making it mega-windy, they also turn visibility so bad you’ll hardly know what’s two feet in front of you!
If it’s really that bad up there though, how on earth was it built in the first place? Well, not easily. Every part was either brought up the mountain on a cable car or transported up in helicopters. Once up there, builders had to work in freezing conditions and were utterly reliant on the weather, forced to stop whenever it looked like turning bad!
So, it was quite the venture then, and it wasn’t cheap either, costing the government over $1 million! That’s because, despite looking precarious, the metal structure is designed to withstand staggering 120mph winds and 500 tons of snowfall, which is like 100 elephants jumping up and down! In fact, the engineers who built it have claimed it’s so indestructible it’ll be hanging around for the next thousand years!
Eshima Ohashi Bridge
If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, you probably love a good rollercoaster. But would you fancy driving over Japan’s Eshima Ohashi Bridge? Just look at the image below; it looks more like a thrill ride than a functional road.
However, despite looking alarmingly unsafe, that steep incline is actually a safety feature; it allows huge trade ships to harmlessly pass below it on the lake it spans across. For the cars above though, it’s significantly scarier, with the sharp rise leading into a speedy downhill dash towards either Matsue or Sakaiminato, the two cities it connects.
Or at least, it looks like it’d be a speedy dash if you view it head on. Take a look from the side however and you’ll see it’s hardly that steep at all! It’s actually a relatively gradual incline towards the middle, but because the road’s a mile long, it looks near vertical when viewed from the front! That’s the power of perspective!
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
We’ve seen a couple of rope bridges already but there’s one that really takes the term ‘hanging by a thread’ to the next level. And that is the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Ireland. If you look at it from a certain angle, it’s hard to say it’s a bridge at all. Suspended some 100ft above the rocky chasm below, one slip would mean a swift bye-bye.
It was first built all the way back in 1755 as a means for local fishermen to reach the neighboring Carrick-a-Rede Island. Safety wasn’t exactly their top priority though. Believe it or not, back then, it was even scarier than it is now! With just a single rope to hold onto and huge open gaps in the walkway, it was less a bridge and more a glorified tightrope.
Thankfully, it’s been rebuilt several times since then, so today’s bridge is significantly safer. But that’s not saying a lot, there’s still very little to stop you from slipping through and ending up sleeping with the fishes.
And even if you do make it across in one piece, there’s no guarantee you’ll feel up to the return journey, some tourists have been so shaken by the experience they had to be taken back off the island by boat!
Hanging Bridge Of Ghasa
You might find the idea of crossing a steep, 440ft high bridge with nothing but a rope to stop you plunging into oblivion pretty damn horrifying. Donkeys and cows however don’t seem to share that same fear. Over in Ghasa, Nepal, shepherds herd their cattle over just such a bridge all the time!
Aptly named the hanging bridge of Ghasa, the death-defying walkway doesn’t look capable of holding my aunt, let alone a whole bunch of animals! It doesn’t help that the whole thing’s at a seriously nauseating angle either, which makes it look more like a sadistic children’s slide than a walkable platform.
And it has a steep drop. Fortunately, this bridge isn’t the only way to get to the other side of the ravine, so if you’re ever in Ghasa you don’t need to panic. It was only built so animals could cross over without causing congestion on the actual roads.
To be honest, it doesn’t seem like the most sensible solution to me, but neither the animals nor shepherds have complained, so whatever. Rather them than me.
Even if you close your eyes and imagine the freakiest, most adrenaline-boosting bridge you can possibly imagine, I bet whatever you imagined wasn’t as insane as the Ruyi Bridge in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China!
Unlike many of the bridges we’ve seen, this one was specifically designed to be scary! The spine-tingling structure hangs 460ft above a gigantic ravine and consists of three winding platforms!
Unsurprisingly, the crazy feat of engineering has caused quite a stir on social media; the design looks so impossible that people were convinced it was fake! Unfortunately for our vertigo however, it’s very real.
Its architect, He Yunchang, has kept the secrets of its creation firmly behind a lock and key. No one really knows how it was built! Which is a little worrying when you’ve got thousands of people crossing it every day.
What’s more, considering how high up it is, it must be super-windy up there! As far as I'm aware, there haven’t been any accidents yet, but you can see in the footage below how short the handrails are.
Shaking Suspension Bridges
This dauntingly long 5-mile structure sways menacingly in the wind as you drive across it, and it is supposed to sway though. Because of its flexible design, Big Mac can tolerate up to 150mph winds ripping into it!
Considering the oversea road can swing up to 35ft from side-to-side though, it’s no surprise motorists find crossing it so scary! Especially after what happened to the Galloping Gertie.
The Galloping Gertie was a similar suspension bridge in Washington, nicknamed because of how hard it swayed up and down in the wind. Just four months after its grand opening in July 1940, a colossal storm hit the city, throwing 42mph winds at the bridge.
Its narrow roadway made it super-flexible but it wasn’t built to properly absorb wind turbulence, so it began twisting violently in on itself and eventually collapsed!
Luckily, we know a lot more about bridge construction now, and the Mackinac Bridge is safe despite its tendency to move from side to side. Even so, if the winds hit 65mph then it has to be closed, just in case. Some drivers get so nervous about crossing it that, for a price, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will drive your vehicle over for you!
Q'eswachaka Rope Bridge
These days, bridges are generally made of tough stuff, but there’s one bridge over a gorge in Peru that’s made of no more than grass and tree trunks! And if you think that sounds flimsy, you’d be right! In fact, the woven grass fibers fray so easily that the bridge needs to be rebuilt every year or two!
The Q'eswachaka bridge is suspended 30 feet above the Apurimac River and is the last remaining Incan suspension bridge.
These bridges were popular in the time of the Incan empire some five centuries ago, and back then there were almost 200 of them! Over the years though, most of them gave way and have been replaced with more modern equivalents, except for one, of course.
Every June, members of the local Andean communities gather together to remake the Qeswachaka bridge. To do so, they weave countless blades of dry grass into long, rope-like cables, an age-old method used by their ancestors. The whole process takes around three days, and close to a thousand people come and celebrate with food, music, and dancing.
If you thought Pakistan’s Hussaini Bridge was bad, you’ve seen nothing yet. The nearby Alam Bridge is so dangerous that police are stationed on each side to make sure nothing too heavy tries to get across!
At almost 1,000ft in length, this bridge is one of the longest in the Gilgit-Baltistan Province, which wouldn’t be an issue if it was safe; but it isn't. The unsteady structure was originally built back in 1978 to allow the small amount of traffic in the area to cross the Gilgit River.
At that time, iron rods and wooden planks were deemed sufficient to hold the weight of the vehicles. However, by 2014 the local population had increased massively to over 300,000 people, and the flimsy design started to struggle under all the extra traffic.
This came to a head when part of the bridge actually collapsed after a heavily loaded truck tried to pass over it! Thankfully, the two men inside managed to jump from the stuck vehicle and flee to the end of the bridge with their lives, but I can’t imagine how terrifying that run must’ve been!
Despite this dice with death, authorities in the area still haven’t replaced the bridge with a stronger concrete alternative, opting to repair the current structure instead. And we thought our commute was bad!
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
If you’re a nervous driver, driving across even a normal bridge can be pretty damn scary. So, one that’s almost 17 miles long and stretches out over a vast expanse of empty ocean is like something out of your worst nightmares! This is the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in eastern China, one of the longest sea bridges in the world.
On foggy days, ominous misty waters surround the lengthy road and make a trip across it feel more like you’re heading to Silent Hill than Qingdao or Huangdao, the two districts it actually connects.
And though the bridge is supposedly safe now, it wasn’t always that way. Back in 2011, when it first opened, there were reports of incomplete crash-barriers, missing lights, and loose nuts on the guard railings. Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence.
Theme parks are a great way to conquer your fears. But if something goes wrong, they can have quite the opposite effect. Chinese theme park Wansheng Ordovician had a popular attraction inviting daredevils to jump across a series of planks some 500 feet above the ground.
Normally, there’s no real danger because you’re strapped into a harness. But back in 2018, one visitor got the shock of his life:
The strap slipped right off! Luckily it happened after he’d already finished the challenge, but just seconds earlier and it could’ve been a lot worse. Following the incident, authorities ordered the attraction to be shut down.
But you can still give their world's longest cliffside glass-bottomed bridge a go. It juts out 230 feet from the side of a sheer cliff and you can see all the way down to the forest some 390 feet below!
Coiling Dragon Cliff Skywalk
As you might’ve guessed by now, Asia seriously loves its glass-bottomed bridges. And apparently, the more pant-wettingly horrifying the better! Which explains the insane popularity of China’s Coiling Dragon Cliff skywalk in the Tiananmen Mountains.
This bold project is built nearly a mile high and winds around the edges of one of the bloodcurdling, near-vertical mountains. To get to the top, you need to traverse a harrowing 99 hairpin bends while trying not to throw your dinner over the side.
Amazingly, over 20 million brave visitors have done so since it opened in 2011. It used to be made from wood but the developers obviously didn’t think that was scary enough, so they replaced the entire twisting walkway with transparent glass panels instead. Of course they did.
Despite being reinforced with concrete supports though, 43 pieces of the walkway have already had to be replaced due to wear and tear! If that’s not reason enough to be worried about a wander on this thing, the short glass railings are suspicious; they’re short enough for anyone to fall right over them!
If you were amazed at the scariest bridges ever you might want to read our article about incredible bridges you have to see to believe. Thanks for reading!