Overtoun Bridge – Milton, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Overtoun Bridge

Milton, Scotland

This Scottish bridge seems to compel dogs to leap to their death. 


Located near the village of Milton in the burgh of Dumbarton, Scotland, is a bridge that for some reason or another has been prompting dogs to leap to their deaths since the early ’60s. 

Even more strange are the circumstances behind these strange incidents. Not only have the dogs been plummeting to their deaths from the bridge, but many have witnessed the animals actually climbing the parapet wall before making the jump. Even stranger are the reports of dogs surviving their brush with death, only to return to the bridge for a second attempt.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has sent representatives to investigate, but they too were stumped by the cause of the strange behavior.

In truth, it is almost certain that these dogs are not “committing suicide,” (a concept that makes little sense in reference to animals) and that they do not intend to die, but rather something is luring them off the bridge before the dogs have time to realize the height. Though many theories have arisen on why these doggy “suicides” occur at such a regular pace, perhaps the best theory is that a mink is marking the area with very strong scent, and that scent, combined with the bridge wall, which makes it impossible for the dogs to realize the height, send the canines leaping over the edge after the compelling scent.

While this lines up with the evidence—such as the deaths having occurred on sunny, dry days when the scent would have been strongest and with the timeline of mink introduction to Scotland—this no doubt does little to soothe the troubled soul of the dog’s owner, who has lost a furry friend.

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