Speaking of bridges... check this out.

I’m sure many of you know about and have seen this before, but for those of you haven’t… Check out this YouTube link. It’s the Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster of 1940. Someone here mentioned it here yesterday, and I remember seeing this footage when I was a kid on some documentary, but didn’t put them together until earlier today. Once the physics are explained, it makes a bit of sense, but it still looks freaky.

Doh, wrong forum. Mods, can you please move this to MPSIMS? Thanks!

If one good thing comes out of this I hope that more people become aware of the Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster. It’s one of my favorite jokes when I do something stupid. For instance, breaking dishes while stacking them after drying - smooth it over by saying, “Now for my next project - the Tacoma Narrows bridge.” Nobody ever gets it. :frowning:

Dudley, my dad used to use this as an example of harmonic resonance in one of his Structures classes. I remember there being a question about it on one of the exams (reason I remember it is, I got it wrong :stuck_out_tongue: ).

There was a dog in the car on the bridge. Somebody ran out to try to save it, but it bit at them and they left it there. It went down with the car.

I’d probably howl at that, FWIW.

What were the engineers thinking? It seems like such a massive blunder… of course, I say that with the huge advantage of hindsight.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

I saw a commercial for a car stereo (I think it was Pioneer) a few years ago. It showed the Tacoma Narrows bridge swaying while heavy metal music played. Then the music cuts off and a guy, presumably the stereo’s owner, is saying, “Sorry.”

I guess after 60 years any situation can become humorous.

The cause of the failure is a bit complicated. From Wiki:


This gave the bridge the nickname of Galloping Gertie.


Much more in the article.

Weird true story:


I think the Karma gods pushed too hard on this guy.