Have you read the latest news about the crazy glass bridge in China? Did you get scared even from the very thought of what happened to the bridge a few days ago? Well, it’s okay to freak out – things like this are not supposed to happen and good thing the damage didn’t take away any victims.
But what’s the idea behind building these types of platforms? Why do architects get inspired to create something that looks so fragile? The truth is: things like this attract people, especially tourists, just because they are signifying danger but tend to guarantee some percentage of safety, which is boosting the adrenaline. However, if we observe we can see that this is not always the case. Believe it or not, buildings can get damaged, and bridges can crack. The question remains: would you go on that bridge knowing that it already cracked once?
Glass Bridge in China
Since I already started the story about the Chinese glass bridge, let’s proceed with some interesting details. The 180-metre-high Haohan Qiao has officially been opened for visitors on 20th of September this year, and it is already known to be the world’s longest glass suspension bridge. It is positioned along Yuntai Mountain in Henan Province, looking like a spine-chilling white line from above that is cutting across a valley in Shiniuzhai national geological park. The translation of the name of this bridge is “a brave men’s bridge.”
But even the bravest person on Earth will scream like a little girl if a section of a 300-metre-long and 180-metre-high glass bridge cracks beneath his/her feet. And that’s what happened a few days ago – one part of the bridge broke, causing massive panic for the visitors standing on the long bridge at the moment of the damage. I can only imagine how scary it would have been to hear a glass-breaking sound and people screaming hopelessly while being at 1,080 meters above sea level, depending only on a glass-bottomed suspension bridge.
Luckily, there had been no serious consequences of this damage. However, the terrified visitors that have been passing this insane walkway have told their stories of the unfortunate event, saying that they heard a crack and started screaming and pushing the other people forward, only to get to the other end of the bridge as quickly as possible. After the visitors had been removed from the bridge, a group of experts approached the damage, stating that the crack had been caused by a heavy object that had been dropped on the glass bridge by the tourists, causing some damage to the glass but nothing serious that can make the bridge collapse. Just two weeks after this bridge is opened to visitors an incident happens, so until the next opening the bridge will be closed to visitors due to reparation.
Glass viewing platform of Willis Tower in Chicago
The Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, is a 442-metre-high skyscraper completed in 1973 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is a big attraction in Chicago, especially since from the year of its completion until 1998 when it surpassed the World Trade Center towers in New York by becoming the tallest building in the world.
Its observation deck, widely known as the Skydeck, is the main attraction of this building since its very opening on 22th of June, 1974. Millions of tourists visit the glass bottom skyboxes that are found on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, feeling their adrenaline rising as they step on the glass balconies like they’re floating 412 meters up in the air. The view is spectacular and horrifying at the same time.
Now, imagine how one tourist felt when he heard and saw a crack appearing on the glass bottom of the Ledge. Crazy, right? The visitors that were there at this moment heard the crack as well, and of course, they panicked. However, a spokesperson stated at that time that the building is not going to suffer any consequences since what cracked is not the glass itself but a layer of protective coating over the structural glass that is supposed to keep it from being broken and scratched. Although there was no severe damage to the Skydeck, at that time it was a temporary closure.
Photo source: commons.wikimedia
Glass-window aquarium in Dubai shopping center
The biggest shopping center in the Middle East is a must-visit place for all the tourists going to visit Dubai. The Dubai Mall opened in November 2008, and since then it operates with a huge success, all thanks to the numerous stores and saloons that are actively attracting customers. On the ground floor, a huge shark and fish-filled aquarium can be found that is known to be the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel.
However, in 2010 an unexpected event happened during the working hours of the shopping mall. The glass of the aquarium cracked, and water started leaking out, causing damage to the mall. The visitors that by that time still hadn’t finished their shopping and were going to the mall were quickly evacuated and taken care of. The giant aquarium that used to be the world’s largest basin had been a home of hundreds of living animals, including Sand Tiger sharks that could have easily threatened the life of many visitors of the shopping mall. Luckily, it all ended well, and the individual crews made a quick intervention to stop the leaking of the water and the new breaking.
Photo source: commons.wikimedia
Okay, I admit, this isn’t the greatest topic to be discussed on a pleasant afternoon, but you have to stay on track with events like these. Nothing is perfect, and flaws can easily be detected when something like this happens. But that doesn’t mean that we should sit at home, locked up in a comfy chair and worry if anything bad will happen to us. Life is about taking risks and enjoying the moment, so if you’re up to walking through dangerous pathways – then do it, but always have in mind that there’s a risk in everything. Even if you decide to stay at home to be safe – maybe you’re risking of losing the fun in your life.