Mind Over Matter
Believe it or not, this is NOT Photoshopped. The road, Transfăgărășan, creates a crossing over the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. It’s a right of passage for European drivers to test their skills on one of the most challenging roads on the planet.
Highway To Hell
When a massive 9.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean floor, the effects were felt everywhere in the region, from Hawaii to the Philippines. When the tremors hit the Philippines they had already been weakened to around a 6.1 force – but that was still enough to devastate cities and towns and create chaos on the roads. As you can see here, this asphalt road is no match for Mother Nature’s fury. Luckily, the driver of the van was okay.
In The Loop
It’s easy to imagine getting disoriented on this crazy looping highway in the middle of rural Moldova. Everyone knows that country roads have a reputation for being less, well, logical than those in the city – but this bizarre bridge takes things to the next level. Imagine hurtling along on a road that’s been straight for miles and miles, and then all of a sudden feeling like you’re on a carnival ride that’s ready to turn you upside down!
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Imagine driving across a bridge when an earthquake strikes and literally breaks up the road. That’s exactly what happened to this unfortunate driver. We can just imagine the terror of literally feeling the Earth move beneath you, especially while on a bridge over a river! Luckily, it seems all hope wasn’t lost, as the truck didn’t actually fall off the road. If you weren’t superstitious before, we’ll bet this photo will have you holding your breath next time you drive over a bridge.
Country Roads, Take Me Home
Now we’re bringing things a little bit closer to home. Yes, this is a This is a real road located smack dab in the middle of the heart of the country, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nicknamed the “Rollercoaster Road’ by locals (for obvious reasons), the road looks like some sort of optical illusion or camera trick. The road is officially named “County Road NS 366.” It’s located just a mile west of Old Highway 56, and about 1.5 miles west of State Highway 56.
We have a few theories as to why this road suddenly leaps up in height. We’re guessing that something about this terrain was just too tough to build on, so the engineers decided to make the road simply go over the problem area. However, we would guess that this sudden increase in elevation – along with the insane circular loop that drivers have to really concentrate on while driving – could lead to a lot of people getting light headed!
Fit For A Troll
This intense serpentine road looks like something straight out of a fairy tale, and it has the name to match – it’s called Trollstigen, which translates to Troll’s Path. The mythically monikered road is located in Rauma Municipality, Møre og Romsdal county, Norway and connects two small rural villages, Åndalsnes and Valldal. Because of its hairpin turns and insane 10% incline, an estimated 3,000 people come from all over the world to test their skills on the wild route.
On Knife’s Edge
India isn’t exactly world-renowned for leading the pack in driving safety and road quality, but this road is pretty extreme, even for India. The road is located in the great Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and barely has enough space for two cars to pass each other without bumping mirrors. This mountain road is the only way to cross over to the other side of Kinnaur, and as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
Located at a lofty height of 2,757 meters above sea level, this road is the highest paved mountain pass in all of the Eastern Alps – and comes in second place for the highest road in the Alps, beaten out narrowly by 13 meters by France’s Col de I’llseran. Just looking at this picture is enough to give us some major vertigo – imagine navigating that at high speeds in a car, not knowing when and if you’ll fly off the edge.
Highway To Heaven
A trucker on a cross-country trip was driving on Interstate 80 in Wyoming. He snapped a photo in an area near Fort Bridger known as “The Three Sisters”. To his great surprise, the photo immediately went viral, with some commenters dubbing it the “highway to heaven.” But skeptics also had something to say about the pic – they claimed it was photoshopped. But we can confirm that this is indeed a real photo of a real location. Heaven on earth, indeed.
Not London Bridge
This bridge can give chills to even the most experienced of drivers out there. What you’re looking at is the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan. It is the third largest of its kind in the world. It rises and falls at shockingly steep angles to let ships pass underneath it. Measuring in at a whopping mile in length, it lies on the Nakaumi Lake, and connects the cities of Matsue and Sakaiminato. At its peak, it hits an incline of 6.1%!
Don’t let the simple name fool you – D915 is one of the most extreme roads on the planet. Located far in the Turkish countryside in Trabzon province, the road is super intense. It’s bordered on the side by a several hundred meter free fall, with zero guardrails in sight. The edge drops off hundreds of meters and is completely and totally unprotected, meaning you could drive off the edge easily. If you veer off in the other direction, you’ll come face to face with a raw cliff.
Leh Manali Highway
Some ambitious tourists – as well as adventurous Indian locals – think that one of the most epic road trips in the world is going from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to the town of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. The road comes out to a whopping 480 kilometers, giving plenty of time for adventures and memories. But the problem with this road is that it’s located thousands of meters above sea level, and sometimes travelers get elevation sickness from the staggering height.
La Carretera de la Muerte translates to “the road of death,” and it’s definitely an apt name for the winding jungle highway. It was constructed by prison laborers from Paraguay during the 1930s, and we sort of feel like the bad vibes haunt the road to this day. There are an estimated 210 accidents and 30 deaths a year on this road, and it was rightfully declared by the Inter-American Bank to be the deadliest road in the entire world.
Strada Delle 52 Gallerie
Strada delle 52 Gallerie is the misleadingly simple name for one of the craziest and most unique roads in the entire world. Located in Italy, it winds between Bocchetta Campiglia (at the dizzying height of 1,216 meters [3,990 ft]) and the Porte del Pasubio (reaching peaks of 1,934 meters [6,345 ft].) It crosses the southern slope of the mountain and was constructed by Italian soldiers during the first World War in order to keep them out of the range of the Austro-Hungarian artillery.
Sichuan – Tibet Highway
The road stretches all the way from China to Tibet. Of course, because the road’s not paved, during and after the rainy season there’s a major risk of getting caught in the mud. Because of this, you will often come across thousand-car jams stretching for miles. One of the biggest dangers lies in the other people on the road – there are frequent cases of theft, fights, harassment, and even clever kidnappers who use the unmoving traffic to their advantage.
Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand
New Zealand may be known for its breathtaking landscapes and exotic wildlife, but it might shock you to see that there’s equally stunning infrastructure in terms of its roads. It’s forbidden for tourists to drive rental cars on this road. It’s suspended over the Shotover River, called once “the richest river in the world”. The road was built with a very specific purpose in mind, it and was made for miners to be able to access remote areas during the gold rush.
This road looks more like a zipper than a paved path from Point A to Point B. But this gravity-defying path is suspended up high in the mountains of Finland. It was built nearly half a century ago by workers trying to modernize the country by constructing a railroad to link even the most distant parts of the ice-filled country. But nowadays the main purpose of the road is for drivers from all over Europe to prove their skills.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Waterfalls, cliff sides, and greenery are all a standard part of the New Zealand scenery. But a lesser-known staple of the South Pacific country is the death-defying roads that can quickly take a driver’s breath away. This road snakes between Queenstown and Wellington and takes tourists on one of the most scenic routes that the nation has to offer. New Zealand actually consists of two separate islands, and taking this route can take you from almost the southernmost tip to the northernmost.
Mind The Gap
Himachal Pradesh makes its third appearance on the list, and as you can see from the picture, its place is well-deserved. Located high up in the Himalayas, this sprawling country road is nothing like the paved modern asphalt highways that one sees in most places in the Western parts of the world. There’s barely enough room for one truck, let alone two, to make it around this narrow bend. One can see how easy it is to take a tumble off the side.
Treasure Of The Far East
Tianmen Mountain in Hunan province, China, is a popular destination for many travelers. The name is synonymous with peace and tranquility, and many come from around the world to see this treasure of the Far East. But one of the craziest parts about this mystical place is its winding mountain road, which sprawls for a whopping 1,000 km at the height of several hundred feet above sea level! It’s not advised for tourists to drive their rental cars here.
This dirt path, which is more for shepherds and hikers than electric vehicles, is called Kolli Hills Road (also known by locals as Kollimalai Ghat Road.) It’s popular among goat-herders who need to take their sheep from one side of the great valley to the other and tourists seeking a thrilling experience. Some daredevils have done this road by motorbike, but it’s actually against the law and considered to be very dangerous, as one wrong turn leads to a thousand-meter drop.
The Scenic Route
While at first glance this may appear to be a meandering country road, upon closer inspection you can see that this is a place you definitely wouldn’t want to accidentally find yourself in with your rental car. This road, which is in the most remote part of the rural countryside in Croatia, isn’t accessible by any alternative routes – meaning that if you get stuck out here, there’s no way for emergency services to come and rescue you!
No, this isn’t something out of a video game. This is a real-life bridge in Norway called the Atlanterhavsveien. It’s also known as the Atlantic Ocean Road. It’s only 5.2 miles long, but that makes it long enough for us to feel totally freaked out and white-knuckle the steering wheel for every minute we’re driving on it. As you might have guessed from its appearance, it was originally built as a railway. You definitely need to proceed with caution.