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China’s Cracking Glass Bridge Prank: Funny or Cruel?

Some people aren’t cracking up over a stunt at 3,800 feet.

For some, high-altitude glass walkways and bridges are terrifying enough on their own. One glass bridge in China is getting a lot of attention right now after ratcheting up the terror by adding the illusion that the glass floor is cracking underneath people’s feet. Depending on your perspective, it’s either a hilarious prank or a cruel joke.

The bridge, on Taihang Mountain near Handan city in China’s Hebei Province, hangs over 3,800 feet in the air, affixed to the mountainside. While the path provides an incredible view of the mountainous scenery, it’s also not for the faint of heart. In a recent video that’s been making the rounds, the span’s newest feature, which creates the illusion that the bridge is going to shatter under the weight of those walking on it, can be seen striking crippling fear into a series of hikers.

To create the effect, bits of actual broken glass were placed under the sturdy glass floor, as well as video screens that display fake cracks in the glass as people pass over it. The sound of cracking glass is also piped in, to complete the terrifying effect. In one of the most popular segments of the video, a tour guide appears to collapse to his feet in fear as he walks over the illusion (although this may have been part of the promotion effort).

After receiving some negative response on social media accusing the trick of being cruel and even dangerous, with the possibility that it might give someone a heart attack, the East Taihang administration has apologized, but said that it doesn’t plan on removing the screens. What do you think? Is the East Taihang Glasswalk’s controversial stunt an adventurous gag, or a cruel prank?