The nineteenth-century Overtoun Bridge in Dumbarton of Scotland is known as the “dog suicide bridge”. It is rather sad that such a beautiful bridge has such a horrendous nickname. But that many dogs have jumped off of it, is a fact.
Since the 1950s, dogs have been jumping off the bridge. Crossing a fifty-feet ravine, many reports say that the Overtoun Bridge is the cause of dogs’ deaths. There is a book about this mysterious bridge too. 100s of dogs have leaped off this bridge and died, which is strange, to say the least.
Those dogs who didn’t die, have been gravely injured. One dog jumped off the bridge and was alive but then he again went on the bridge and jumped. It is unknown as to why hundreds of dogs committed what seems like suicide. People have come up with various theories over time.
One such theory is by David Sands, who is an animal behavior expert. According to him, the dogs weren’t committing suicide. He went to see the bridge in 2010 and observed that several of the dogs who jumped off had a long nose. This means they were tracking dogs. Possibly, they got the scent of some wild animal there and tracked it.
The Overtoun Bridge has tapered edges, it may confuse the dogs. They jumped because they took the bridge to be flat. He said that maybe curiosity “killed the dogs”.
But according to the superstitious clan of people, there is more to this. One theory says that the ‘White Lady of Overtoun’ caused the deaths. Another one claims that a 1994 incident is responsible for this. A father threw away his baby from this bridge as he believed the baby to be the antichrist.
Locals say that the man threw the baby from the same location where the dogs jump off. The problem with this theory, however, is that it can’t explain the dog suicides before 1994.
Maybe someday in the future, we’ll find out the mystery behind the Overtoun Bridge. Till then, keep an eye on your dog as you cross the bridge.
Video: DR DAVID SANDS