Have you ever fallen down? I have, and it’s scary. The highest thing I ever fell off was a tree branch. I was only five feet above the ground, and I didn’t really get hurt, but for the moment I was free-falling I felt scared! Time slowed and I saw the ground rushing up to meet me. I knew it was inevitable that I would kiss the dirt, hard. There was nothing I could do to stop it. Would I survive? Would I break a bone?
If you want to recreate that experience, visit one of these bridges on this list! Most of them are safe but a few of them…well, who knows? People have been known to fall off the plank bridge along Mount Hua in China. The Hussaini Hanging Bridge in Pakistan falls down every now and again. These footbridges allow you to dangle precariously in the air, trusting only that somebody, at some point, knew how to tie a proper knot.
For even more terror, try driving across one of these road bridges. You can risk your life on the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan, but you don’t need to go that far. There are plenty of horrifying bridges closer to home. Take, for example, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland, USA. Drive the world’s longest bridge over a freakin’ ocean on Confederation Bridge in Canada. That one is really fun in winter when huge icebergs smash into the support columns while you’re 20 miles from shore.
But don’t just take my word for it. Have a look for yourself!
20 Hanging Bridge of Ghasa, Nepal
At first glance, this footbridge seems like the most extreme bridge any person could cross. When you look again, you realize that it is. The Hanging Bridge of Ghasa, in central Nepal, hangs 440 feet above a river canyon. It is 1,100 feet long. The entire bridge is held up by ropes and steel wires which sway in the even the gentlest breeze. This isn’t a tourist bridge, though. It helps the goats from the local village of Ghasa get to fresh grazing on the other side of the canyon. So far, no goats have fallen off.
19 Arenal Hanging Bridges, Costa Rica
This super-scary bridge is actually a series of bridges. Somehow that doesn’t make it any less scary. You can find the Arenal Hanging Bridges in Volcan Arenal National Park in Costa Rica. The bridges are part of a self-guided hiking trail through lush rainforest. They meander along the treetops, 190 feet above the ground! Once you’re up there, you have to finish the entire three-kilometer hike just to get down again. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, the steep entrance fees to the park should be enough to terrify anyone.
18 Trift Glacier, Switzerland
Ah, Switzerland. The land of yodels and wine. A calm place where the cheese is fresh and the money is untraceable. It’s also the country where you’ll find Trift Glacier Bridge. This insult to gravity is suspended 330-feet above an ice-and-rock canyon. It spans more than 550-feet and allows people to walk on a glacier. The only problem is that the glacier has been melting and that bridge span won’t quite reach the edge in the coming decades, so they added some more and attached it to a mountain face. You can take your chances on this bridge. I’ll stay in the chalet, enjoying camembert and yodeling.
17 Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
Nuzzled along Canada’s Pacific Northwest is the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia. On the north side of Vancouver is a suspension bridge which sees a million visitors a year and somehow doesn’t fall down! The Capilano Suspension Bridge is part of a self-guided hike through Pacific rainforest. The bridge dangles 300-feet above a river canyon. What makes it truly odd are the hundreds of people on it at any given time, jumping and swaying the bridge merely to give me a heart attack. You can’t leave the bridge, either, because it’s attached to treetop walkways on the end. Oh dear!
16 Kakum Canopy Walk, Ghana
Ghana isn't known as a popular tourist destination, and I think the Kakum Canopy Walk is the reason. Why would anyone go to Kakum National Park and spend an afternoon walking along a rope-and-wood bridge dangling from the treetops? It’s more than a thousand feet long and over 200-feet off the ground. Sure, you can see some of the only remaining Diana monkeys and African elephants left, but it’s TWO-HUNDRED-FEET IN THE AIR! Even the endangered species look at the humans hanging out up there and feel sorry for them.
15 Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, North Ireland
Just outside of Ballintoy, Ireland, is a skinny hanging footbridge connecting two islands. It crosses over the stormy waters of the North Atlantic. Often, it’s covered in the slick water itself thanks to the rain and fog of Ireland. Oh, and did I mention it is one of the scariest footbridges in the world? Carrick-a-Rede bridge is 100 feet up, joining two craggy cliff faces, and more than 60 feet long. The current implementation has been there since 2008, and before that, a bunch of Irish hippies built one in the Seventies. Before that, a wood-and-rope bridge was located there for 350 years.
14 Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan
If it seems like everything in Pakistan is potentially scary, that’s because it is. The buses, the buildings, and even the bridges are all waiting to fall apart. Hussaini Hanging Bridge certainly isn’t the exception. It’s more of a template. This homemade bridge spans a mountain pass and connects two remote regions of northern Pakistan. It is made up of a bunch of ropes and random sticks and tiles and wooden boards jammed in there. It’s estimated to be around 150-feet in the air. No real hard data exists because the bridge was built by hand, by the local farmers. I’ll pass.
13 Mount Hua Plank Walk, China
Not to be outdone, China joins this list with the most dangerous bridge in the world. The Mount Hua Plank Walk has claimed more lives than any other bridge. This is a mixture of ladder and bridge, as its purpose is to scale up the face of a mountain. In their brilliance, the ancients plopped a Daoist temple 2,000 feet up, and people still go there today. The bridge traverses up the mountainside, crosses a few ravines and clefts in the rock, and continues on to the top. These are literally just wooden planks held up by twine and rope. There are no guard rails or sides to the planks. A hundred people fall off it every year, and I certainly won’t be one of them!
12 Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China
You may have seen videos of this bridge on your Facebook feed. The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is a massive tourist attraction which hangs 1,200 feet above a rocky mountain valley and a raging river full of rapids. As a sick joke, some of the glass panels have special video effects which look as if they’ve suddenly cracked or have fallen out. This sends people into crying panics, which their friends then film and place on the internet. Walking on this bridge is a hair-raising experience that every gephyrophobe has nightmares about.
11 Gaztelugatxe Bridge, Spain
The single most bizarre footbridge on this list is in Basque country, on the coast of Biscay, Spain. The Gaztelugatxe Bridge was built in the 10th Century to connect a hermitage on a rocky island to the mainland. The bridge varies between 40 feet and 200 feet above the rocky, stormy ocean below. Let me repeat: THIS BRIDGE WAS BUILT IN THE MEDIEVAL AGES! It is all stone, and it winds around outcroppings. It has been battered by the elements for a thousand years. While it is considered safe by officials, it looks otherworldly!
10 Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland
The old world has the scariest footbridges, but nobody beats America when it comes to freaking out drivers. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland is one of the scariest roadway bridges in the world. It’s a dual-roadway bridge, with three lanes on one bridge heading one direction, and three on another bridge heading the other way. The bridge is 186 feet above the Chesapeake Bay, and travels for more than four miles! Driving on this winding, towering bridge is sweat-inducing, and because the lanes only go one way, you’re forced to wait out the journey. Pack a change of underwear!
9 Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
Photographs of this bridge abound on the internet. There’s a good reason for that. It is a steep bridge that rises sharply on one side so ships can pass underneath. This means drivers are going up, or down, a 6-percent grade at its steepest point. It looks absolutely bizarre. Most drivers, however, don’t find it out of the ordinary once they’re on it. Most drivers also text while tailgating on the highway, so I take what they say with a grain of salt. I don’t suffer from gephyrophobia.
8 Beipanjiang Bridge, China
China. Again. With another scream-inducing bridge. This time it’s the Beipanjiang Bridge in Guizhou Province, China. When it was completed back in 2003, it was the highest bridge in the world, which automatically means I want nothing to do with it. It was outclassed by the Sidu River Bridge (China again) in 2005. The Beipanjiang Bridge is 1,200 feet above a gorgeous river valley between two mountain peaks. Four lanes travel 1,200 feet at high speed, which is good because that means less time you need have your eyes open while you cross.
7 Confederation Bridge, Canada
The world’s longest bridge connects Prince Edward Island to Canada’s mainland. It spans the Northumberland Strait, which leads out to the freezing, stormy, Atlantic Ocean. The bridge is 12 miles long and 130 feet above the water, which is just high enough to avoid getting battered by Atlantic waves. The concrete supports are shaped into a sharp *V* to break up the massive ice flows that hammer the bridge all winter long. What’s really scary about the bridge is the fact that it’s free to drive across to Prince Edward Island, but will cost you $50 to drive back.
6 Pont de Normandie, France
Normandy is more than just medieval towns and Second World War battlefields. It’s also home to one monster of a bridge! The Pont de Normandie spans the River Seine near LeHavre. It’s nearly two miles long and sits 300 feet above the water. If that wasn’t bad enough, sometimes thick fog banks roll in during the winter and spring, reducing vision. Worst of all, it’s a cable suspension bridge, which means all those cars are literally dangling in mid-air! Mon Dieu!
5 Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
This five-mile road in Norway connects several fjords through a series of insane bridges. Called the “Hulvagen Bridges”, they look like something you would pay money to ride at Six Flags. They twist and turn, rise and drop, often at the same time. They span stormy North Sea waters and some of them don’t even have guard rails! What are you thinking, Norway? Sure, the scenery is stunning and the drive is one you’ll never forget unless you have your eyes closed the entire time.
4 Millau Viaduct, France
Another French bridge, the Millau Viaduct allows a highway to cross a massive gorge. The bridge itself is massive. There’s a 1,100-foot drop to the valley below, which can happen at any point along its two-mile length. It’s another of those mind-boggling cable suspension bridges the French love so much. It has also won engineering and architecture awards. In addition, it’s truly puzzling. I mean, this bridge is massive, and that gorge is extreme. If you’ve ever driven in France you’ve probably come across this bridge. You can practically see it from space.
3 Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
Upper and lower Michigan are only held together by a long, thin bridge. The Mackinac Bridge is five-miles long, and cars drive along 200-feet above the Straits of Mackinac. It was built in the fifties and for a while, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge until people thought that wasn’t crazy enough and started building true monsters. Don’t let that make you feel any better about crossing this bridge. True gephyrophobes often have trouble on this bridge, so a special Driver’s Assistance Program is available to help them across. Doesn’t that say all you need to know about this bridge?
2 Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Turkey
In 2016, Turkey opened a bridge crossing the Bosphorus Strait. It’s 5 miles long and towers more than 1,000 feet above the sea. That there is enough to make my heart palpitate, but there’s more. Not only does the bridge take car traffic, but also rail! High-speed trains and freight trains alike clatter across this massive suspension bridge. How those cables hold all that weight, so far above the water far below, is something I don’t even want to know about. I do know that the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is one of the most awesome bridges in the world.
1 Sidu River Bridge, China
The Sidu River Bridge, in Hubei Province, China, makes all the other bridges on this list look like amateurs. This massive suspension bridge is over a mile long. It swings precariously more than 1,600 feet in the air, while a mountain valley goes on with life below. This bridge is sometimes shrouded in clouds. You read that right, clouds! In true Chinese fashion, this was the first bridge assembled using rockets. That’s right, rockets! What is this bridge, and why would anyone drive on it? I can barely look at pictures of it. In fact, I think I’m done talking about scary bridges. I need to lay down with a cold wet towel on my head after this.