Sometimes the only way to fight nature is with nature — at least that's what these clever communities did. When a river got in the way of a road, residents turned to trees to create the sturdiest (and prettiest) catwalks.
As , Meghalaya, India requires creative construction techniques. The northeastern state receives over a whopping 450 inches of rain every year — that's taller than a three story building.
Local villagers needed to erect bridges that could withstand powerful monsoons, so they turned to the unique natural resources of the region that have endured through the test of time. According to , the rubber tree bridges in Meghalaya have stood for more than 150 years.
It can take decades before the structure can support a person's weight, but the growing process provides a unique benefit. After guiding the roots with fallen tree trunks (and now wire), the living architecture only strengthens every year.
While you'll find many living bridges in this rainforest, the Umshiang double-decker bridge is the most famous overpass. This spectacular landmark is only reachable by foot, but residents are working on a third level to attract more tourism.
To learn more about this incredible monument, check out this video from :
India isn't the only home to living bridges, however. In Indonesia, the believe in living closely with nature, and their unique religion resulted in these intricate platforms.
The clan is so dedicated to its heritage that it refuses to adopt modern technology, including electricity.
West Sumatra, Indonesia
On another island, a root bridge connects two villages separated by the Bayang River. According to the , a Muslim teacher wanted his students to attend class more easily, but strong currents would frequently break the old bamboo bridge. He planted banyan trees in 1890 and patiently waited for the limbs to span the banks.
It took 26 years before before the 82-foot trestle grew sufficiently sturdy, but its fortified branches now support plenty of visitors.