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

CNN StaffUpdated 23rd August 2016
(CNN) — 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 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."
On August 20, China opened the world's highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge in Zhangjiajie in China's Hunan Province. It has closed 13 days later, due to "overwhelming demand."
Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images
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.
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.
Inspiration for the bridge also came from a double helix and the area's mountainous terrain. When viewed from the side the three arches look like mountains -- 'San Shan' translates to three mountains in English.
courtesy penda

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.
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.
Visitors who step into one of the Ledge boxes at the Willis Tower in Chicago can see for 50 miles across four states. A protective coating on the glass cracked on Wednesday, May 28, but officials say visitors were never in danger. Click through this gallery to see more daring viewing platforms around the world:
courtesy skydeck willis tower
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