Photograph shows the roller coaster-like Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan. See Example( s )

Collected via e-mail, May 2015

Is this a real bridge in Japan?




The Eshima Ohashi bridge, which spans Lake Nakaumi to connect the Japanese cities of Matsue and Sakaiminato, was constructed with a high span in order to allow the passage of boat traffic from the latter city, a major fishing port. Although the mile-long bridge looks something like the upward slope of a roller coaster in the picture displayed above, that appearance is the artifact of telephoto lens usage (which typically flattens perspective in long-distance shots). In fact, the bridge has a gradient of 6.1% on one side and 5.1% on the other, presenting motorists with a gradual climb that doesn’t look quite so scary in standard distance shots:



The following videos provide an idea of what the sensation of crossing the bridge is like, the first from the perspective of an observer and the second from that of a participant:


The Eshima Ohashi bridge is far from being the highest in the world, however. That honor belongs to the Sidu (or Sidhue) River Bridge, a 4000-foot suspension bridge that spans the valley of the Sidu River in China’s Hubei Province at a height of 1,627 feet. By way of comparison, the famous Empire State Building measures only 1,454 from its base to the tip of its antenna spire: