August 23, 2016

Highest and longest glass bridge opens over China's Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon (VIDEO)

World's longest and highest glass bridge opens in China's 'Avatar' mountain (but there are already so many tourists you can barely see the 984ft drop)
China just added a bunch of new claims to its planet-beating achievements -- this time its the world's sweatiest palms, the trembliest knees and the most-flipped stomachs.

Oh yes -- and the world's highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge.

Thousands of visitors have been steeling themselves to walk across the newly opened structure that spans the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan Province.

The new glass-bottomed bridge crosses two peaks in the mountains of Zhangjiajie - the same ranges that inspired the American blockbuster Avatar
The six-meter wide bridge stretches 430 meters over a 300-meter-deep valley between two cliffs in the beautiful Zhangjiajie Park, said to have inspired the scenery for the sci-fi movie "Avatar."

Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the glass-bottomed bridge will also feature the world's highest bungee jump and serve as a runway for fashion shows.

Visitors have been reportedly lining up for hours to cross the bridge, but although it can take 800 people at a time, access is being restricted to a maximum 8,000 a day.

While 8,000 people are allowed to cross the bridge each day, many tourists queued up overnight to be the first to visit the attraction. The site became incredibly busy in a short amount of time
Authorities have been working hard to stress the bridge's safety credentials, inviting journalists to try to smash their way through its thickened glass.

In another demonstration, a car was driven over the structure.

Scary incident

There's a reason folks might be wary.

In an incident in October last year, cracks appeared in a mountainside glass walkway in Yuntaishan Scenic Park, in China's central Henan province, just two weeks after opening.

Visitors were sent running and screaming in panic, according to witnesses, although park officials said the damage was superficial and did not pose any danger.

The Zhangjiajie bridge is one of many new glass-bottomed tourist attractions that have been drawing crowds in China and around the world.

Those who cross the bridge earlier in the day were treated to views of the spectacular 984ft sheer drop underfoot
Also in Zhangjiajie, a 100-meter-long glass skywalk, stretching around a cliff on the park's Tianmen Mountain, opened in August.

For more scary-but-awesome viewing platforms check out the gallery below.

Tourists can walk across the bridge, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, and the more adventurous will be able to bungee jump or ride a zip line

Having fun? Tourists will have to book their tickets a day in advance, at a cost of 138 yuan (£15.94)
Following an alarming glass bridge cracking incident at the Yuntai mountain in northern Henan in 2015, authorities in Zhangjiajie were eager to demonstrate the safety of the structure
Head for heights: Aerial view photo shows the glass-bottom bridge at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
Cameras and selfie sticks are banned, according to Xinhua, although it seems that some of the first tourists are already flouting the rules

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