The Fabled Bridge of Doggie Suicides


Overtoun Bridge, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Overtoun Bridge, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

For as far back as the 1950’s, Overtoun Bridge in Dunbartonshire, Scotland has developed a reputation for luring dogs to their death. At the astonishing rate of as much as one per month, dogs have been leaping off the bridge, falling 50 feet to the waterfalls below, to their deaths. While a few of the dogs survive the jump, when taken back to the bridge, they typically leap from it once again.

Many theories were put forth to explain the phenomenon. One scientist noted that dogs can get depressed and suicidal. Some have pointed to the Celtic myth of “thin places” where heaven and earth are particularly close to each other.

The most reasonable explanation came when it was noted that all of the dogs’ deaths seem to have occurred on sunny, dry days, that all the dogs were of breeds with long snouts and a good sense of smell, and that all of the canine suicides were from the same side of the bridge. Armed with that information, an expert studied the bridge more closely and determined a large population of mice and minks living in the undergrowth beneath the bridge. He posited that the strong, musky smell of the critters was irresistible to the poor pooches.

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