6 Things You Didn't Know About The Golden Gate Bridge

On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, opened to the public after five years of construction. Here are 6 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about the Golden Gate Bridge…

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The Bridge is Painted "International Orange" The Navy was initially concerned about visibility for passing ships in foggy conditions, and pressed for black and yellow stripes to be painted on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Army Air Corps pushed for a more festive, candy-cane combination of red and white stripes to make the bridge more noticeable from the air. Ultimately, however, the architects decided on the reddish-orange color you see today after being inspired by the basic red primer coated on the steel beams when they arrived in San Francisco. The official color is named "International Orange" and is the same color used by NASA for astronaut spacesuits.

The Golden Gate Bridge Broke Records When it was built, the Golden Gate Bridge spanned 4,200 feet and staked its claim as the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge held this record until 1964 when it was finally surpassed by the Verrazzano Bridge in New York City. Now, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan holds the coveted title.

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It is The Top Suicide Location in The World In August 1937, three months after the Golden Gate Bridge opened, H.B. Wobber became the first of more than 1,500 people to commit suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s an average of one person less than every three weeks. There are 11 crisis counseling telephones on the bridge that connect to trained suicide prevention counselors, and plans to build a net under the span as a suicide deterrent are being considered.

It’s The 9th “Most Instagrammed” Attraction in The United States The Golden Gate Bridge was tagged in over 2 million pictures on Instagram, making it the 9th most popular US destination on the app. Disneyland, another iconic California attraction, came in on top with over 8 million tagged posts.

Over 1 Billion People Have Used the Golden Gate Bridge In February 1985, the one-billionth car was recorded and the driver was even given a hard hat and a case of champagne to celebrate the occasion. The bridge reports that 112,000 vehicles cross it every day.

You Can Tell The Weather By Looking at The Bridge The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge allows it to expand and contract with the weather, so you can eyeball the day’s temperature just by looking at the bridge. The deck can either fall or rise by up to 16 feet, depending on how warm it is. There's just one problem with using that system to decide if you need a sweater, though: the deck is always about two hours behind the actual weather due to the thermal mass of the bridge.