3 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the First Tacoma Narrows Bridge
February 1, 2017 | Beth Winslow
I cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge often, many of us cross it everyday.
We all know that there was once another bridge that collapsed, nicknamed the “Galloping Gertie”, but do you know…
The reason behind it’s name?
How many were hurt or killed when the bridge collapsed?
What about the massive, worlds largest octopus… are they really living under the bridge?
Lets find out…..
The original bridge was nicknamed “Galloping Gertie” because the solid girders that were designed to strengthen the bridge actually blocked the wind and caused the slender bridge to twist or “gallop”.
It actually galloped so much, it is said that Thrill-Seekers often crossed the bridge just to experience the bridge’s unusual “galloping” behavior.
According to PBS.org drivers said crossing the bridge was like riding a roller coaster.
The only causality from the “Galloping Gertie” bridge collapse was a three legged dog. The dog belonged to a reporter who was forced to abandon his car because of the extreme movement of the bridge.
Reports say that he and a few other good Samaritans tried to rescue the dog, but they unsuccessful.
One man, a professor of engineering at the University of Washington, was actually bitten trying to save the three legged dog stuck in the car.
After being bitten the professor gave up and not too soon as a few minutes after, the bridge collapsed, and fell 200 feet into 125 feet deep water.
Check out the video here:
You probably already knew that the ruins of “Galloping Gertie” is home to the world’s largest octopus species!
But did you know we used to wrestle them??
From the late 40’s into the 60’s Titlow Park and the Galloping Gertie ruins was the backdrop for local fans of “Octopus Wrestling”.
It was so popular they even held Annual “World Octopus Wrestling Championships” here in the Puget Sound.
The event was even televised and would easily attract up to 5,000 spectators!
They awarded trophies to individual divers and teams who caught the largest octopus.
After the competition, the octopuses were either eaten, donated to the local aquarium, or returned to the ruins.
While most of us will probably never wrestle an Octopus, I’m going to say most of us are glad the new bridges don’t “gallop” like the old one.
The winds when it collapsed were only 42 MPH, but I’m glad no one was hurt. Well, except the poor dog.
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