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Retrofuturist Flashback: The Infinity Bridge

 Old-school cosmic megastructuring. (The British Library/Robana/Getty)
Old-school cosmic megastructuring. (The British Library/Robana/Getty)

As we cross the imaginary bridge between one year and the next, I thought it might be a good time to look at French caricaturist J. J. Grandville's fabulous Bridge of Infinities.

The concept takes us all the way back to 1844, and Grandville's book "Un Autre Monde." Quite impossibly, this incredible structure holds the planets in their orbit and connects them all via a handy highway.

Now Grandville celebrated the absurd and the surreal, so waste no time wondering if he was serious about this concept. As you'll explore in his many other illustrations from the book, "Un Autre Monde" concerns a trio of parallel world created by Dr. Krackq, Dr. Puff and Dr. Hahblle.

But as we ponder such far-future structural marvels as the Dyson Shell, in which we completely enclose a star in an artificial sphere, maybe an infinity bridge isn't that loopy after all.

Who am I kidding? It's nuts. And I love it.

Robert Lamb is a senior writer and podcaster at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Julie Douglas. He has a love for monsters, an aversion to slugs and a hankering for electronic music.

Topics in this Post: Stuff to Blow Your Mind