Travel can be fun, inspiring, or exhilarating–and sometimes terrifying. The world’s scariest bridges beg the question: Why did anyone build this thing?
In the quest to get from one place to another, people have come up with some truly wild solutions. From the farthest reaches of the world to America’s backyard, these are five of the scariest bridges ever made. If you’re afraid of heights, brace yourself. Things are about to get terrifying.
What makes this bridge so scary? It’s actually a patchwork of bridge designs, including stretches of cantilever bridges, continuous truss bridges, and suspension bridges. It has been constantly expanded, repaired, and updated since it was first built in 1952.
To make things worse, the bridge is frequently congested, turning it into a long parking lot over the bay. Despite that, it’s an important connector between Delaware and Washington, D.C. If you plan to travel over it during rush hour or during the summer, when it is clogged with tourists, then make sure that you have plenty of gas for your car and water for yourself.
Suspension bridges might be beautiful, but they’re also more than a little scary for people who aren’t big fans of heights. Longjiang Suspension Bridge in China might be the scariest bridge in the world thanks to its dizzying height. The bridge spans the Long River 280 meters below.
Cars travel for 1,196 meters (about .75 of a mile) over the river. It’s one of the longest suspension bridges ever built, as well as being one of the highest in the world. It took about five years to construct and opened to the public in 2016. Even though it is utterly terrifying, people still travel over it every day instead of taking a long detour around the river valley.
Who needs boats when you can build a bridge over the ocean for seven miles! This bridge isn’t very tall compared to others on this list–but in a way, that makes it even scarier. Skimming over the top of the water, Seven Mile Bridge shuttles visitors to Marathon, Florida, on the way to Key West.
The Florida Keys are a bridge-lovers dream–and a bridge-haters nightmare. Although Seven Mile Bridge is the longest, a system of bridges connects the chain of islands along the Flordia coast to the mainland.
Like a modern work of art stretching across the water, the Vasco da Gama Bridge is pretty–and pretty scary. It’s the longest bridge in all of Europe, carrying six lanes of traffic over the Tagus River. This cable-stayed bridge links northern and southern Portugal through the capital city of Lisbon.
What’s really wild is that the speed limit on this bridge is 120 km (75 mph), so the busy bridge sees drivers speeding across the water faster than most traffic on American highways.
Do you like rollercoasters? What if you had to drive yourself and there’s a sheer drop into the water far below?
Nicknamed ‘Rollercoaster Bridge,” Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan soars 44 meters into the air. Seen from certain angles, it looks like cars are climbing straight up into the sky. Even from the side, you can see that the bridge is at a sickeningly steep angle.
It was built that way so that ships could pass under it, which I’m sure is comforting to the cars that must travel the mile-long route. The bridge connects Tottori and Shimane prefectures, which are separated by a vast lake. If I had to drive that bridge every day, I might just stay home instead.