Bungee jumping is a sport for people who are seeking for adrenaline rush. If you’re a fan of extreme sports, then bungee jumping is definitely worth trying. Some people say that you must try bungee jumping at least once in your life. In bungee jumping, people would jump from high altitudes while having rubber rope tied around their ankles. At first you will do a headfirst free fall, then you will bounce back when the cord rebounds from its maximum stretch. Looking at how extreme this sport is, bungee jumping is definitely a sport that you can’t do on your own and a sport not for anyone. Now, before you decide to experience this extreme sport, it would be best for you to know some bungee jumping facts before hand, to make sure that you make the right decision.
It is not a risk-free activity, thus bungee jumping companies are working hard to keep updating their safety procedures in order to ensure a safe and fun experience for their customers. Despite how risky it is, many people still have interests in trying this extreme sport. Therefore, if you are one of those people, you might want to know one or two things before you do it yourself. Here are 15 bungee jumping facts that you need to know!
1. Culture of Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping started as a tradition for the people of the Pentecost island to prove their manhood. They believe that only by being able to bungee jump, they can keep their wife from running away from them. This tradition is highly inspired by the famous folklore about Tamalie and his runaway wife. This tradition still exists until today, and has become one of the island’s main attractions.
2. Used To Be Illegal
Bungee jumping was started as something illegal, which was done by the Oxford Dangerous Sport Club. They jumped from the 80-meter high Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England. Back then, the attraction created a big commotion in the public that the people doing it were caught by the police only days after.
However, the bungee jumping scene has spread throughout the world. It reached all the way to the American soldiers who started to bungee jump using the parachutes’ ribbon cords. Bungee jumping has also emerged in many parts of the world ever since.
3. Father Of Bungee Jumping
Moving on to the next bungee jumping fact, in 1989, Alan John Hackett, a New Zealand entrepreneur who established the first commercial bungee jumping, established a bungee site in Queenstown, New Zealand. From that point on, Hackett has been considered as the father of bungee jumping, acknowledged as the one who has the authority of bungee jumping, which earned him a good sum of money.
4. World’s Highest Bungee Jumping Site
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge Bungee Jumping site is the tallest in the world at 260 meters high. It is the tallest commercial bungee jumping site that is most recently opened in 2020. A truly wonderful bungee jumping experience with the nature sightings of the canyon. The bungee jumping cost one person about US$420. You need to make an advance reservation for this experience to avoid waiting for too long.
5. Oldest People to Bungee Jump
If you think bungee jumping is only for young people, you are wrong. Why? Because Mohr Keet did a bungee jump on 6 April 2010 when he was 96 years old. He jumped at the Bloukrans Bungee Jumping in South Africa at that time, without knowing that he had broken the world record of being the oldest person to bungee jump.
It has been recorded in the Guinness World Record and still unbeatable up to this day. In fact, he set this record three times before the official application when he was 96. His first bungee jump was when he was 88 years old, which marks his first world breaking record, even though it is unofficial. What a shocking bungee jumping fact, isn’t it?
6. World’s Highest Natural Bungee Jumping
You can also try bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa. It is the highest natural bungee jumping site in the world, sitting at 216 meters above the Bloukrans River.
Run commercially by face Adrenaline since 1997, the bungee jumping site has been running accident free since then. The cost for you to jump is around US$54-$57, but it does not include any photos or videos of you jumping. A bungee jump in the middle of nature with the river below it making the whole experience more wonderful and thrilling.
7. Jumping From a Hot Air Balloon
Curtis Rivers from the UK holds the record of the highest altitude bungee jump at 4,632 meters above the ground of Puertollano, Spain. He jumped from a hot air balloon using a 10 meter cord and then continued to the ground with a parachute.
The altitude was so high that he needed breathing equipment during the jump. Curtis is a British stuntman who has published two books. Moreover, he was also one of the stunt performers in the famous TV series the Game of Thrones.
8. Massive Tandem Bungee Jumping
You might think that only two people can do a bungee jump in tandem. The world holds the record of 31 people bungee jumping together on the same bungee rope at the Tummelum Record Festival in Flensburg, Germany on 8 July 2000. These 31 people bungee jumped together from a gondola at the height of 65 meter.
This is the largest mass bungee jumping event recorded by the Guinness World Record. The Festival itself was held every two years in Flensburg, Germany attracting hundreds of thousand people to come and attend the festival.
9. World’s Longest Bungee Jumping Experience
If you are talking about bungee jumping, you surely can’t skip the Macau Tower. It has been one of the most famous sites in the world and it sits at 233 meter altitude. The jump is about the size of a two-and-a-half football field with only 4-5 seconds of freefall before you rebounded for 50 meters.
You are basically going at the speed of 220 kilometers an hour, which is the longest bungee jumping experience in the world. The facility there is also definitely one of the best in the world. By paying HKD$3,488 you can jump and go home with photos, video, and also a certificate.
10. The Most Extreme Jumping Site
One of the most extreme and thrilling bungee jumping sites in the world is the Villarrica Volcano in Chile. A helicopter will take you over the caldera, and you will bungee jump 400 feet into the abyss where you can see the bubbling lava inside. Bungee jumping to the mouth of a volcano is certainly not for the faint hearted. It’s not cheap either, because the experience to jump to the mouth of a volcano will cost you $16,000.
11. Bungee Jumping Over Crocodiles
Bungee jumping itself is thrilling enough, but Victoria Bridge Wall Bungee Jumping in Zimbabwe is on another level. It sits 110 meter above the water, overlooking the world’s largest waterfall, which is the Victoria Waterfall. Adding some extra thrill to the experience, the water below is actually the home of many crocodiles.
12. First Time Bungee Jumper Horrifying Accidents
Just recently in July 2021, a first-time jumper Yecenia Morales, died at the age of 25 tragically as she jumped without the cords attached to her ankle. She mistakenly thought the signal that was actually for her boyfriend was a signal for her to jump. It was said that she experienced a heart attack halfway to the fall when she realized she has no cords attached to her. A simple misunderstanding that leads to a tragic death.
13. Surprising Death Statistics
Even though bungee jumping is in fact an adventure sport full of danger, bungee jumping has surprisingly low death statistics. Between 1986 and 2002, there were 18 bungee-jumping fatalities. Starting 2015, 5 people have died of bungee jumping. It means there is a 1 to 500,000 chance of dying due to bungee jumping. It is actually quite a small number. You can remember this statistic if you want to try bungee jumping but somehow worry that it will cost you your life.
14. One Cord is Safer than Two
In many cases, malfunction of the equipment is the main cause of a bungee jumping accident. In bungee jumping, one cord is safer to use instead of two. Bungee cords stretch at different rates making it dangerous to be used at once. Safety is a priority in bungee jumping and the equipment plays a big role for it.
15. Preparation for Bungee Jumping
Finally we have come to the last bungee jumping fact in this list. Bungee jumping is not as simple as falling down. It might take a certain practice and knowledge to prepare you for a safe jump. First of all, you need to know about whiplash. Bungee jumping is a series of falling and rebound. The rebound is the part, which could be the dangerous part, thus you need to pay attention to that.
The next one is to make sure you are not entangled by the cord. The cord is there to keep you safe and not to hurt you. Then, it is super important to come in a healthy condition both physically and mentally. Bungee jumping providers recommend you to check with a doctor beforehand if you have any health concerns. The last one is to know about the equipment you are using. Only after checking all these things out, will you be ready for your jump.
You might have bungee jumping in your bucket list and the facts we mentioned might sway you a little or make you scared a little. That being said, bungee jumping is definitely an experience worth a lifetime. If the opportunity comes, you might want to take it and have a taste of the adrenaline rush. At least, now yo have read 15 bungee jumping facts, you know how to better prepare yourself and have the knowledge to measure how much risk you have to take. Prepare well and you will have the best time of your life doing bungee jumping.