For as long as humans have walked the planet they have always had the need to push themselves to their absolute limits to see what their bodies can endure. This has resulted in a few extra-special daredevils attempting some of the most incredible stunts ever seen. From being thrown out of a helicopter with no parachute, to trying to jump a canyon thousands of metres deep on a motorbike, some of the following stunts are hard to believe. Whether you think they’re incredibly brave or incredibly stupid, the following are 10 of the craziest stunts ever attempted.
The sport of wingsuit flying is dangerous enough as it is, but daredevil Alexander Polli took this to a whole new level in April 2013, when he attempted to fly through a small arch in a Spanish mountain during a jump. Polli prepared for the stunt by having test runs where he would hit small targets, but this still left very little room for error. If Polli misjudged the flight by just a few feet, it would have meant him crashing into the side of the mountain and almost certain death. Thankfully everything went to plan on the day and Polli successfully completed the incredible wingsuit dive to the shock of the rest of the world.
7000 Ft Free Climb
Alex Honnold is a household name in the world of free solo climbing and it is easy to see why. The American rock climber has set a number of records over the years but one of his most famous climbs occurred at the Yosemite National Park. In June 2012 Honnold scaled over 7,000 feet of rock face at the Park and broke a number of speed records in the process. That would have been an impressive enough feat on its own but, incredibly, Honnold achieved all this with absolutely no rope or safety harness. One slip would have resulted in him falling thousands of feet to his death. Crazy or brave? Perhaps a bit of both, but still mightily impressive!
Highest Bungee Jump
The highest ever bungee jump is also one of the most famous and is the highlight of the opening scene in the 1995 James Bond film, ‘Goldeneye’. Wayne Michaels performed the jump from the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland and it still stands as the highest ever bungee jump from a fixed structure. The jump was made without guide ropes and Michaels dropped an impressive 220 metres to the foot of the dam. The jump was so spectacular that it was voted the best movie stunt of all time in 2002.
Edge of Space Skydive
In October 2012, Felix Baumgartner performed arguably the most impressive skydive of all time: A freefall from the ‘edge of space.’ The stunt was shown live on TV and involved Baumgartner rising to 128,000 feet above earth in a ballon-lifted capsule before diving back down to earth. A specialised inflatable suit had to be constructed in order to allow Baumgartner safely through the sound barrier (833.9mph). If he had been exposed to the altitude at that level he would have been killed instantly. The jump set the world record for the longest ever skydive, an estimated 24 miles, and Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier, clocking an incredible 843.6mph!
Grand Canyon Bike Jump
Robbie Knievel may be known as the son of the famous stuntman Evil Knievel, but in May 1999 he achieved something his father never managed: Successfully jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorbike. The incredible stunt was televised live and saw Robbie jump 228 feet across a portion of the Grand Canyon. Although he made it safely to the other side, the jump did not finish well, with Robbie losing control of the bike in the landing and breaking one of his legs in the crash.
Tightrope Walk Grand Canyon
In June 2012, Nik Wallenda shocked the world by successfully walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Although Wallenda wanted to do the walk with no safety harness, ABC (who were televising the event) insisted that one must be worn. After successfully completing the walk, Wallenda turned his attentions to crossing the Grand Canyon, this time with no safety harness. In June 2013 Wallenda successfully completed the tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, live on television, 1,500 feet (460m) above the ground, with no safety harness. The incredible stunt took 22.54 minutes to complete, with Wallenda twice having to crouch down due to high gusts of wind that threatened to send him plunging to his death.
English Channel Jet Wings
In September 2008, Yves Rossy ‘flew’ into the record books by becoming the first person to fly across the English Channel using only jet-propelled wings. The Swiss Air Force fighter pilot, better-known as ‘Jet Man,’ jumped from a plane at about 2,500 metres above Calais and took just 9.32 minutes to reach Dover on the south coast of England. Rossy was only equipped with a helmet and leather suit for protection and reached speeds of up to 125mph. Due to a slight tailwind, Rossy actually completed the flight nearly two-and-a-half minutes ahead of schedule, so even had enough fuel left to perform some tricks for the crowds in Dover; now that’s showmanship!
Skydive Without A Parachute
Gary Connery has worked as a stuntman on such films as James Bond, Indiana Jones and Batman, but his most impressive stunt of all was not even performed for the silver screen. In May 2012, Connery successfully attempted the first ever wingsuit skydive landing without a parachute. The incredible daredevil stunt involved Connery jumping out of a helicopter at around 2,400 feet (730m) and freefalling to the ground. Before using his wingsuit to guide himself to the landing area, made up of 18,600 cardboard boxes! Connery safely landed the dive and even had the audacity to describe the landing as ‘soft and comfortable.’
Deepest Free Dive
In June 2012, Herbert Nitsch entered the record books by completing the deepest ever free dive. The Austrian diver sank to an incredible depth of 831 feet (253m) below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, without any breathing apparatus. In order to get to the required depth, Nitsch used a weighted sled-like device which allows divers to descend and return to the surface as quickly as possible. The record came at quite a cost to Nitsch’s well-being though, as the Austrian lost consciousness on the way back to the surface, due to the rapidly expanding nitrogen bubbles in his veins, and suffered a series of minor strokes. Following the strokes, Nitsch suffered from memory loss, had difficulty speaking and even struggled to walk and run.
Free Climb Tallest Buildings
Alain Robert is a French climber who is more famously known as ‘Spider Man’ or ‘The Human Spider.’ Robert shot to fame due to his notoriety for climbing the world’s tallest buildings and structures. Arguably his most impressive climb took place on Christmas Day in 2004, when he scaled the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which at the time was the world’s tallest building. The climb was part of the building’s grand opening and saw Robert scale the 508 metre (1,667 foot) structure in around four hours, with no safety harness for protection. Robert had hoped to complete the climb in half that time but heavy rain made the ascent far more difficult, making the achievement all the more impressive!