CLOSE

The Only Remaining Incan Rope Bridge Is Rebuilt Every Year

The Q'eswachaka rope bridge, suspended over the Apurímac River in Peru, is a piece of living history. It is the last of the rope bridges that once connected the Incan road system, and dates back about five centuries. Rebuilt from twisted cords of grass by residents each year, it is a piece of history that is not only still in use, but regularly renewed, Atlas Obscura reports.

The bridge—spanning 118 feet and composed of local grasses—is remarkably sturdy: It can hold thousands of pounds of tension. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Q’eswachaka is the local community’s ongoing dedication to keeping it in working order.

Atlas Obscura explains that the bridge, though strong, only has a lifespan of one to two years before it begins to weaken. Since the structure was first built nearly half a millennium ago, residents of nearby towns have fastidiously rebuilt it hundreds of times. They continue to rebuild it to this day, with each family contributing some 90 feet of rope. Check out the video above to learn more about the structure, and watch an interview with Q’eswachaka Bridge Master Victoriano Arizapana here.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Banner Image Credit: Atlas Obscura, YouTube

arrow
video
26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

Original image
iStock
arrow
video
Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
Original image
iStock

Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios