Even though some land bridges exist today, these features were popular during prehistoric times. They allowed humans and animals to migrate and colonize new territories by providing pathways in places otherwise impossible to pass on foot. Generally, land bridges are connections between otherwise separated land masses.
This piece highlights some amazing land bridge facts you probably didn’t know.
1. There Is A Land Bridge Theory
In an attempt to explain how Native Americans arrived in North America, scientists used the land bridge theory. It states that the ancestors of modern-day Native Americans walked across the Bering Land Bridge, formed due to extremely low temperatures that froze the water.
Scientists believed that the frozen water exposed the land beneath the ocean, allowing the migrants to cross. However, new evidence shows that the ancestors may have arrived by boats, given the state of ancient coastlines. The findings show the land bridge formed long after the migration had started.
2. The Adam’s Bridge Linked Sri Lanka and India
Sometimes referred to as Rama Setu or Rama’s Bridge, Adam’s Bridge was a land bridge running from Pamban Island in India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. According to geological evidence, the land bridge once connected the two countries (India and Sri Lanka). It measured about 48km (30 miles) long and was destroyed by a cyclone. Today, only a chain of limestone shoals remains.
3. The Bering Land Bridge Is A Popular Example of a Land Bridge
The Bering Land Bridge is very popular because of its links to the migration of Native Americans and the fact that it connects Alaska to Asia. Scientists believe the land bridge resulted from periodic ice ages throughout the planet’s history. They say most of the water froze, global sea levels dropped, and the land between the two continents was exposed, resulting in the land bridge.
4. The Destruction of a Land Bridge Made Sri Lanka an Island
Before 1480, Sri Lanka was not an Island as a land bridge (Adams Bridge) connected it to India. It only turned into an island when a cyclone wiped out the bridge, leaving only a chain of limestone shoals behind.
5. The Bering Land Bridge Played a Part in the Evolution of Horses
Research shows that horses originated in North America. However, as they evolved, some migrated to Asia using the Bering Land Bridge, while all that remained died. Interestingly, when the Spanish came with horses to North America, it can be argued that they were returning the animals to their ancestral home.
6. The Bering Land Bridge Played a Role in Camel Migration, Too
Besides horses, camels originated in North America about 45 million ago. Archeological evidence shows the now famous desert animals roamed as far north as the Arctic. They only found their way to Asia about 3-5 million years ago, when they crossed the Bering Land Bridge to Asia. Those that found their way to South America evolved into llamas and alpacas.
7. The English Lost the Battle of Maldon Because They Allowed Their Enemies to Cross a Land Bridge
According to a famous Old English poem, the English lost the battle of Maldon because they let the Vikings, who were entrapped on an island, cross over a land bridge. They thought they were affording their enemies a fair battle only to lose it.
8. Destruction of A Land Bridge Contributed to the Extinction of Wooly Mammoths
The land bridge linking North America and Asia facilitated a lot of human as well as animal migrations. Unfortunately, it also contributed to the extinction of some of them. For instance, a group of wooly mammoths were stranded on Alaska’s Saint Paul Island when a part of the land bridge was destroyed by rising sea levels. The trapped animals remained there until all of them died.
9. The Land Bridge in Doggerland Connected Britain and Continental Europe
A land bridge (now submerged) in Doggerland connected Britain to other parts of Europe. It was a pathway for Neolithic tribes migrating from areas affected by ice sheets.
10. There Is An Underlying Land Bridge on Cabuya Island
Cabuya Island is an Island in Costa Rica characterized by magical spots. Tourists visit the region to hike, surf, and snorkel. However, the most exciting aspect about the island is that a land bridge surfaces when the tides are low. This allows people to cross to and from the mainland on foot.
11. The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is The Longest Land Bridge in The United States
Today, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is the longest in the United States. Measuring 58 meters long (189 feet) and 46 meters (150 feet) wide, the wildlife in Phil Hardberger Park in San Antonio is the feature’s primary beneficiary. Even though it was designed for human and wildlife use, the animals mostly use it to cross the Wurzbach Parkway.