In a world of deepfakes and CGI, the undulating Ruyi bridge recently rose to internet fame, but was quickly met with scepticism from viewers online.
In late 2020, footage emerged of a glass, ‘bending bridge’ overlooking a mountainous area in China, known as the Ruyi bridge.
Widely circulated on social media in various forms, a video of the Ruyi bridge was shared by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and quickly went viral.
I'd want better handrails.
(Ruyi Bridge at Shenxianju, Taizhou, Zhejiang, China) pic.twitter.com/EcctD6Dkbo
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) November 29, 2020
As videos of the bridge circulated further across the Twittersphere and other social media platforms from 2020 onto early 2021, they were met with scepticism by many online, with one user claiming Ruyi was “too crazy to exist”.
Ruyi Bridge in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China. The footbridge, made up of three undulating bridges, has a span of 100m and is 140m above the Shenxianju gorge's floor. h/t @ritholtz pic.twitter.com/SqfG4e1Fa6
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) March 21, 2021
This drew the attention of the myth-busters at Snopes, who declared after an investigation that the bridge is, in fact, real.
According to the official Weibo account for the Shenxianju Scenic Area in China, construction on the Ruyi bridge began in 2017, which opened in September 2020. The park also explained on Weibo that the bridge measures 100 meters across the east and west gorges of Shenxianju.
“With a total length of 100 meters and a vertical height of more than 140 meters, it spans the east and west gorges of Shenxianju,” a translation of the post reads.
“Intertwined into an undulating bridge body, visitors have a sense of experience when they pass. The rigid and soft shape is perfectly integrated with the natural scenery of the Fairy House, just like a jade ruyi in the sky, and like a fairy draped silk.
“The painting is like a screen, and when seen from a distance, the mountains are full of movement, and they also carry beauty and auspiciousness.”
The 140-metre-high bridge is said to be inspired by jade ruyi, a symbol of power and good fortune in Chinese folklore, and includes three bridges with a deck partially made from glass.
Featured image source: YouTube/Oriental Image