To celebrate 45 years of Range Rover, which was first introduced in 1970, Land Rover completed a world-first drive across a bridge made 100% out of paper in Suzhou, China. Pretty amazing stuff.
It’s a stunt designed for the powerful off-road SUV, but really is a show that demonstrates how sturdy a bridge could be while made of nothing but paper.
Building a paper bridge capable of supporting an entire SUV sounds like a mission impossible but the physics are actually pretty sound, which works the same ways as a stone bridge, where the curvature diverts downward forces laterally. The difference is that instead of a dozen or so stones, there are thousands and thousands of sheets of paper used to build the bridge.
The bridge is a self-supporting arch but the team used a temporary ramp to lay the paper sheets in place and then removed the ramp beneath, leaving only the paper and two supporting buttresses.
The stunt was carried out by English bridge designer Steve Messam and was a huge success, of course, in a no-raining night.