In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge turned into a “wave” and collapsed due to mechanical resonance.

  1. We had a short 20 yard bridge you could do this with (not to this extreme) but all it took was like 3 people to kinda walk in the same pattern at the same time, and it was hilarious on orientation week because you could scare the ever living crud out of freshman. Happened to me as freshman and I’m sure it happened to everyone who went on to do it

  2. The guy that is responsible for the bridge uses the insurance money to go on a vacation overseas while the bridge collapsed. This is why people still need to pay 2 dollars to cross it every fucking day.

  3. You wanna watch this crazy bridge fall? No! They are showing a naked lady on the TV box 📺 and im not missing that

  4. I saw this a few times in school, but seeing the bridges in person really puts the screw up in perspective. Much bigger than I expected!

  5. I remember watching something years back where they posited that the incident may have been caused by the pitter patter of a cat trotting across the bridge.

  6. Not just a podcast, this episode was a live podcast (with slides) about an engineering disaster that was, in and of itself, a disaster

  7. We had a picture of the bridge collapse in college. Someone wrote on the bottom that the guy who designed it graduated from our college. Not sure if that's true

  8. If memory serves from my time at uni, this actually wasn’t due to mechanical resonance and was instead due to a phenomenon called aeroelastic flutter - rather than the bridge vibrating at one of its natural frequencies, the twisty motion had a negative damping coefficient, so the constant wind blowing on it caused the twists to become bigger and bigger until boom, it all fell apart. It’s always provided as an example of resonance though

  9. I'm glad everyone made it out ok, but damn that must've been an amazing thing to see in person, would've loved to be there.

  10. so in the case of this bridge, the steel girders were made of solid metal instead of a material that would let wind through. this led to the 40mph winds on this particular day swaying the bridge and twisting it and it just so happen to twist at the resonant frequency of the bridge. you know when a singer breaks a glass with their voice? that’s them matching the resonant frequency of the glass. when an outside frequency matches the natural resonant frequency of an object, the wave is amplified. therefore, the twisting of the bridge kept getting more and more amplified until kablamo no more bridge

  11. Not an explanation but I think it’s a good example. Have you ever seen a semi with straps on their cargo that are vibrating quickly. It’s kind of similar. The wind passing over the straps create a turbulence. This can usually be avoided by twisting the straps.

  12. Wind twists bridge, twisted bridge twists wind, twisted wind twists twisted bridge, and the cycle completes all the way around. This sort of coupling is called flutter and is generally associated with high airspeeds. At lower airspeeds the forces dont happen at the wrong times and the bridge stabilizes itself. At high enough air speeds, it's like pushing a kid on a swing.

  13. Concrete is in fact not flexible, that is why you need to put steel in it. Steel is quite flexible as you can see in the video. The only reason the bridge can behave like that is because the concrete has cracked, but it is in no way flexible

  14. I live here. Can confirm the winds are brutal at times when walking or biking on the bridges (there’s two now). The Narrows are tricky. Glad our engineers prevailed.

  15. “You gotta think, you got a pet. You gotta responsibility! Get your ass out on that wavy bridge and save that fucking dog!”

  16. Some guy pointed that it is the photographer's dog. And on an interview he said he tried to save it but the dog was afraid and bit him every time he tried. So he had to just run and leave it.

  17. I went on a boat tour under the bride 5 years ago and it’s crazy how large it is, the people working on it painted their names on the underside of the metal. Also saw many seals and 2 whales swimming under the bridge. Beautiful.

  18. The guy with the pipe, just casually strolling along, like the very bridge he's stood on isn't shaking around like the tail end of a conga line. What a guy. Must have a hefty set of balls!

  19. Ah, the old Gallopin’ Gertie. Drove across the redone bridge to my grandparent’s house all the time. Footage is a classic. Legit worried as kid that the bridge would gallop again when we drove across it!

  20. I just found out from other engineers (older than me) that when you join the engineer society they give you a ring made out of the metal from a collapse bridge. Its to remind you what happens when we (engineers) fail / cut corners.

  21. When you watch the film you see someone run out to get the dog. When I was in high school (in Tacoma) we would chant, "Save the dog. Save the dog, save the dog. Then the dog bit the man, so right before he got to the car we would chant "bite the man, bite the man, bite the man." Then the man runs off and we would chant "Screw the dog, screw the dog, screw the dog."

  22. It sounds like a giant beehive when you drive over it. Some people also believe there is a giant octopus who lives underneath the bridge

  23. There's a bunch. They are the Giant Pacific Octopus, just not any bigger than anywhere else in the Sound.

  24. The only casualties were a car and a DOG! How horrible. Did that guy shown walking away from his car just leave his dog?! Heartless!

  25. Inside the car is a dog, the man you see walking couldnt get him out in time, and he was the only fatality of this accident. My dad dives (i grew up ten mins from the bridge) and he has gone diving down to see the remains of "Galloping Gertie", where the giant octopus also lives.

  26. An engineer predicted the resonant response of the bridge in the wind and set up a camera. I think it took about three days before he recorded the collapse.

  27. Would be cool if we could somehow harness the mistake that caused the swinging to increase into a device designed to generate energy

  28. I cross the bridge nearly every day and havent ever heard it called Tacoma Bridge. Tacoma Narrows Bridge is always what Ive heard. Beautiful views crossing it.

  29. I think the Tacoma Narrows is already on its second bridge AFTER this one. I used to cross the last one all the time @ 2005 or so, and they were building a replacement at that time.

  30. Had a legit anxiety attack driving over this bridge when moving up to Washington. Had never seen any of these videos before, am not afraid of heights, never had a problem crossing San Pedro bridge when living down there. But for some reason, this one fucked me up… idk

  31. first off engineers today manufacture bridges so the wind can go through or smoothly around them, and any swaying doesn’t match up with the natural resonant frequency of the bridge

  32. This was early WWII, people were tuning in to the radio to hear how many allies had died that day.

  33. Bridge design at this time did not take wind "plane" in consideration. The bridge deck acted as a wing lifting and spilling the wind. Adding wind skirts, or building using open box girders, breaks the lift which became standard after this event.

  34. ...and yet another possible, shining example of never taking the lowest bidder or hiring local politicians nephew for the gig.

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