The newest fad in China is glass pedestrian bridges. The Chinese people love nothing more than walking over great heights while imagining their own deaths, apparently. Or maybe they just like laughing at the people who can't handle it. Either way, glass bridges keep being built in China, each one higher and longer than the last. This raises the inevitable question: Is it safe?
The longest glass bridge in the world is set to open next month in Zhangjiajie, and the builders are eager to prove that visitors have nothing to be worried about. That's why they invited BBC Click reporter Dan Simmons to stand on the bridge above a sample panel of glass, and go to town on it with a sledgehammer. But the result may not have been what they were looking for:
OK, so in a sense, the experiment was a success. Although Simmons' first blow shattered the glass, he was unable to structurally compromise the underlying layers even after he let loose on it dozens of times. But that won't stop this video from making people who see it want to puke from terror. And is it really good press for this bridge to show it splintering instantly like a drunk college student's iPhone screen?
Imagine if people were on that bridge and it cracked like that? Would they really care about the physics of its structural integrity? Or would they stampede to the other side, trampling each other like frightened elephants? That's the problem with glass bridges—everyone wants to give them a shot, but nobody is actually ready to accept death.