Watch the World's Highest Glass Bridge Get Sledgehammered


Peter Gabriel fans aside, the majority of us don't go about our days with sledgehammers on the mind. We're lucky, then, that BBC correspondent Dan Simmons had one on hand during a recent visit to China's Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.

That's where the world's longest, highest glass-bottomed bridge will open soon. Spanning the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in China's Hunan Province, the bridge stretches 1,411 feet (430 meters) across the canyon. While there are vertical heights between the bridge and the ground as canyon walls drop away, the biggest vertical drop is 984 feet (300 meters) straight down.

In the video above, Simmons musters his courage and smashes a massive sledgehammer into one of the floor panels of the bridge. It cracks at Simmons' first go — but after repeated subsequent attempts, the two lower layers of glass don't give way. The stunt was intended to show the resilience of the bridge — especially considering the panic that ensued last year after a glass-bottomed mountain pathway in northern China cracked as tourists walked on it.

Measuring 20 feet (6 meters) wide, the Zhangjiajie bridge was designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, and should be able to hold 800 people at once — and even act as a stage for a fashion show.

The glass bridge spanning Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon will open to the public this summer.
The glass bridge spanning Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon will open to the public this summer.
VGA/Getty images

China is increasingly opening its interior to tourism from within and abroad; the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, where the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is located, has only been open to the public since 2009. Traversing a near-invisible walkway in the sky not enough for you? The Zhangjiajie skywalk also plans to introduce the world's highest bungee jump.