107254454

107254454

Water Bear (Tardigrade), a tiny aquatic invertebrate, magnified x250 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

Photo by: Science Photo Library - STEVE GSCHMEISSNER

Science Photo Library - STEVE GSCHMEISSNER

We Finally Know How Tardigrades Survive Deadly Radiation

August 01, 2019

Bravery isn't quantifiable, but we think it can be pretty accurately measured in just one glance at the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge. As of its August 2017 opening, this structure is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the planet. It's beautiful, impressive, and vertigo-inducing. Would you cross?

Don't Look Down

You'll find the bridge in Randa, Switzerland, and it looks like something out of a fairy tale. The bridge, opened in August 2017, cuts through the picturesque Swiss Alps at a dizzying height of 282 feet (86 meters) above ground at its highest point. That's the height of 16 giraffes stacked one on top of the other. (Curiosity does not endorse giraffe-stacking.)

The path is so thin (25.5 inches/65 centimeters) and long (1,620 feet/494 meters), it barely looks physically possible. Apparently, it's sound, but we aren't exactly racing to go test that out ...

1155265546

1155265546

Water bear. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a water bear, or tardigrade (phylum Tardigrada). Water bears are small, water-dwelling, segmented micro-animals with eight legs that live in damp habitats such as moss or lichen. They are classed as extremophiles as they can survive dry conditions by changing into a desiccated state, in which they can remain for many years. Whilst in this form (known as a tun) they can withstand the most extreme environments and can tolerate radiation levels as high as x1000 more than other animals, including humans. They have even been brought back alive after spending 10 days in the vacuum of space. Magnification: x1000, when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

Photo by: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Ten Minutes of Beautiful Terror

Engineers from Swissrope and Lauber cableways built this record-breaking bridge in just 10 short weeks. With its completion, it's now the longest suspension bridge in the world, surpassing the glass-bottomed bridge across the Zhangjiajie Canyon in Hunan province, completed in 2016. One look at the Swiss pathway begs the question: WHY?! Before this walkway was erected, a different path connected the two sides of the valley, but it was damaged by rock falls. The height of the new bridge may seem unnecessary, but it keeps the path out of the rocky danger zone.

Maintaining a bridge here is quite the gift to hikers, who would otherwise have to hike four hours to get to and from the towns of Zermatt and Grächen. With the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, the trek is now 10 minutes — if you've got the guts, anyway. If you don't want to look down while traversing the Swiss Alps valley via this bridge, just look around you. The Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and the Bernese Alps are visible in the distance: a view that might just be worth the acrophobic terror.

This article first appeared on Curiosity.com.

Next Up

Where should we go? The Moon or Mars?

There’s been a lot of excitement around space exploration recently. Astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter discusses the viability between the Moon and Mars.

World's First Malaria Vaccine Offers Hope to Millions

Tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year from sickness and death caused by malaria following the World Health Organization (WHO) approval of a first-ever vaccine. Scientists have recommended the RTS,S vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other high-risk areas to prevent one of the world’s oldest and deadliest infectious diseases.

Using What We Know to Predict the Next Pandemic

How can we predict another pandemic? Researchers are utilizing what we have learned from COVID-19 to get in front of the potential pandemics of the future.

Check out the Earth’s 800,000 Year Old Battle Wound

Scientists may have discovered the location of an ancient buried crater, a result of a meteorite that barreled into the Earth some 800,000 years ago.

Welcome to the Surface of Mars

Through the use of cutting-edge instruments, scientists finally have the opportunity to probe deep beneath the surface and ascertain exactly how the terrestrial planet formed.

How Did the Solar System Form?

How did our solar system form? It's a pretty simple and straightforward question, but as with most things in science, simple and straightforward doesn't necessarily mean easy.

The 2020 Planetary Primaries

What’s your favorite planet? Before you decide, here are some key facts about each of the candidates.

When Was There Life on Venus?

What we have is a cosmic whodunit. Venus, the second planet from the sun and considered by the more romantic types as "Earth's twin" and the avatar of love, is dead.

Scientists Have Discovered Enormous Balloon-Like Structures in the Center of Our Galaxy

There's something really, really big in the middle of our Milky Way galaxy — one of the largest structures ever observed in the region, in fact.

Check Out the Crab Nebula –The Leftovers from a Giant Cosmic Firework

The Crab Nebula sits 6,500 light-years away, and is currently about 11 light-years across. But while it looks pretty from afar, don’t give in to the temptation to visit it up close.