The mystery of Overtoun Bridge - where the dogs commit suicide

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The Overtoun Bridge is an arch bridge located near Milton, Dumbarton, Scotland, which was built in 1859. It has become famous for the number of unexplained instances in which dogs have apparently committed suicide by leaping off it. The incidents were first recorded around the 1950's or 1960's, when it was noticed that dogs would suddenly and unexpectedly leap off the bridge and fall fifty feet to their deaths.

There are even a warning sign there said "Dangerous Bridge: Please Keep your dog on a leap"

In some cases, the dogs would survive gets up and then leap off the bridge again. What makes this tragic mystery even more mysterious is that many of the dogs that jump from Overton Bridge jump from the same side and from almost the same spot: between the final two parapets on the right-hand side of the bridge.

Some believe that the bridge is haunted. In 1994, a man threw his baby son off the bridge, claiming that it was the anti-Christ. Later, the man attempted suicide there as well. Some believe that Overtoun Bridge is a "thin place", where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead meet, and sometimes cross over.

As the unexplained phenomenon received international media attention, the Scottish SPCA sent an animal habitat expert to investigate the causes as to why dogs kill themselves at Overtoun Bridge. Initially Dr David Sands examined sight, smell and sound factors. After eliminating what a dog could potentially see and hear on the bridge, he eventually focused on scent following the discovery of mice and mink in undergrowth on the side of the bridge from which dogs often leaped. In a test, the odors from these animals were spread around an open field. Ten dogs were unleashed - representing the commonest breeds that jumped off the bridge. Of the dogs tested, only two showed no interest in any of the scents while nearly all the others made straight for the mink scent. Sands concluded that, although it was not a definitive answer, the potent odor from male mink urine was possibly luring keen-nosed dogs to their deaths.

Below is a documentery of Dr David Sands.

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