This Chinese man’s antics have taken the country’s indigenous social media by storm. Fang Shuyun, the 51-year-old displays amazing balancing, and strength every day when he crosses the Fuchun River outside Hangzhou on a single 23-feet bamboo pole. He stands on the pole with ease and his lightweight stature, and sure footing ensures that he doesn’t capsize on his way to the other side. He also a brings a smaller branch of bamboo with him for steering purposes. Amazing, isn’t it?
The video has gone viral both on Youtube and Chinese social media with many people baffled by the relative ease with which he achieves this amazing task. He travels about a 2 feet per second reaches the other side safely every day. It all started one day when he was coming back from work in the city, and he missed the boat that got him across every day. Since he was such a good swimmer, he tried crossing it on a single bamboo he found nearby and even though he failed that day, he understood that with a little more effort, he would be able actually to do it. But, it took two years to get his balancing act together and now he has simply mastered the skill.
The leg you put forward carries the center of the body weight so you should use it to step on the bamboo pole evenly. Then you use the big toe of your other leg to stop the stick from rolling in the water. As long as you achieve a balance and stop the bamboo from turning, it’s possible to cross a river on a single bamboo pole given you’re fit enough.” Fang Shuyun said while talking to media.
He also underlined the importance of the length of the pole itself. It needs to be more than 13 feet long to help achieve the buoyancy needed to support a human body. Now he just steps on the bamboo and rows across taking advantage of the current and wind to achieve his goal. This actually reminds me of a South Asian legend in which a girl named Sohni crosses a river every day with the help of a hollow earthenware pot that kept her afloat. Eventually, the villain of the story replaces the pot with an unbaked one, and it drowns the poor girl while she is attempting to cross the river. I hope nobody has an axe to grind with Fang Shuyun because the bamboo pole can also be replaced with a poor quality one that won’t float!