Spitting's a gross habit. Spitting on a bridge hanger and weakening its structural integrity. Well that's just rude and really gross.
All that red you see. That's spit. Human spit that's slowly eating away at the steel structure keeping the Howrah Bridge in India from collapsing into the Hooghly River. The reason the spit is red and slowly dissolving the bridge is because locals enjoy chewing on and spitting a stimulant known as paan. The paan-laced spit has reduced the thickness of the steel from six millimeters to three millimeters.
Port authorities have decided to cover the steel with fibreglass. Maybe they should have thought of that two millimeters ago. [ABC.net]