Bungee jumping
Overview
 
Bungee jumping
is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord
Bungee cord
A bungee cord , also known as a shock cord, is an elastic cord composed of one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton or polypropylene sheath...

. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

 or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot-air-balloon
Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air...

 or helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

, that has the ability to hover above the ground. The thrill comes as much from the free-fall
Free-fall
Free fall is any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it, at least initially. These conditions produce an inertial trajectory so long as gravity remains the only force. Since this definition does not specify velocity, it also applies to objects initially moving upward...

ing as from the rebounds.

When the person jumps, the cord
Bungee cord
A bungee cord , also known as a shock cord, is an elastic cord composed of one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton or polypropylene sheath...

 stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord snaps back (not actually snapping though), and continues to oscillate up and down until all the energy is dissipated.
The word "bungee" originates from West Country dialect
West Country dialects
The West Country dialects and West Country accents are generic terms applied to any of several English dialects and accents used by much of the indigenous population of South West England, the area popularly known as the West Country....

 of English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, meaning "Anything thick and squat", as defined by James Jennings in his book "Observations of Some of the Dialects in The West of England" published 1825.
Encyclopedia
Bungee jumping
is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord
Bungee cord
A bungee cord , also known as a shock cord, is an elastic cord composed of one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton or polypropylene sheath...

. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

 or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot-air-balloon
Hot air balloon
The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air...

 or helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

, that has the ability to hover above the ground. The thrill comes as much from the free-fall
Free-fall
Free fall is any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it, at least initially. These conditions produce an inertial trajectory so long as gravity remains the only force. Since this definition does not specify velocity, it also applies to objects initially moving upward...

ing as from the rebounds.

When the person jumps, the cord
Bungee cord
A bungee cord , also known as a shock cord, is an elastic cord composed of one or more elastic strands forming a core, usually covered in a woven cotton or polypropylene sheath...

 stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord snaps back (not actually snapping though), and continues to oscillate up and down until all the energy is dissipated.

History

The word "bungee" originates from West Country dialect
West Country dialects
The West Country dialects and West Country accents are generic terms applied to any of several English dialects and accents used by much of the indigenous population of South West England, the area popularly known as the West Country....

 of English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, meaning "Anything thick and squat", as defined by James Jennings in his book "Observations of Some of the Dialects in The West of England" published 1825. Around 1930, the name became used for a rubber eraser
Eraser
An eraser or rubber is an article of stationery that is used for rubbing out pencil markings. Erasers have a rubbery consistency and are often white or pink, although modern materials allow them to be made in any color. Many pencils are equipped with an eraser on one end...

. The word bungy, as used by A J Hackett
A J Hackett
Alan John "A. J." Hackett is a New Zealand entrepreneur who popularised the extreme sport of bungee jumping.-Early life:Hackett grew up on Auckland's North Shore. He attended Westlake Boys High School, but left at the age of sixteen, and served an apprenticeship as a carpenter. At this time, he...

, is "Kiwi
Kiwi (people)
Kiwi is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, as well as being a relatively common self-reference. The name derives from the kiwi, a flightless bird, which is native to, and the national symbol of, New Zealand...

 slang for an Elastic Strap".
Cloth-covered rubber cords with hooks on the ends have been available for decades under the generic name bungy cords.

In the 1950s, David Attenborough
David Attenborough
Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA is a British broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years...

 and a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 film crew brought back footage of the "land divers
Land diving
Land diving is a ritual performed by the men of the southern part of Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. The precursor to bungee jumping, men jump off of wooden towers around high, with two tree vines wrapped around the ankles. Land diving is done without any safety equipment...

" (Sa
Saa language
Sa or Saa language is an Austronesian language spoken in southern Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. It had an estimated 2,500 speakers in the year 2000.- Dialects and range:Sa has numerous dialects, with no well-established names or boundaries...

: ) of Pentecost Island
Pentecost Island
Pentecost Island is one of the 83 islands that make up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. It lies due north of capital Port Vila. Pentecost Island is known as Pentecôte in French and Pentikos in Bislama. The island was known in its native languages by names such as Vanu Aroaroa, although these...

 in Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

, young men who jumped from tall wooden platforms with vines tied to their ankles as a test of their courage and passage into manhood. A similar practice, only with a much slower pace for falling, has been practised as the Danza de los Voladores de Papantla
Danza de los Voladores de Papantla
The Danza de los Voladores is a ceremony/ritual which has its roots in the pre-Hispanic period and presently best known as associated with the town of Papantla, Veracruz. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most...

 or the 'Papantla flyers' of central Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, a tradition dating back to the days of the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s.

A tower 4000 feet (1,219.2 m) high with a system to drop a “car” suspended by a cable of “best rubber” was proposed for the Chicago World Fair, 1892-1893. The car, seating two hundred people, would be shoved from a platform on the tower and then bounce to a stop. The designer engineer suggested that for safety the ground below “be covered with eight feet of feather bedding”. The proposal was declined by the Fair’s organizers.
The first modern bungee jumps were made on 1 April 1979 from the 250 feet (76.2 m) Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Brunel died in 1859, without seeing the completion of the bridge. Brunel's colleagues in the Institution of Civil Engineers felt that completion of the Bridge would be a fitting memorial, and started to raise new funds...

 in Bristol, by members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club
Dangerous Sports Club
The Dangerous Sports Club, a group of adventurers and extreme sports pioneers based in Oxford and London, were active from the late 1970s for about ten years, during which they developed modern bungee jumping and experimented with a variety of other innovative sporting activities.-Origins:The...

. The jumpers were arrested shortly after, but continued with jumps in the US from the Golden Gate and Royal Gorge bridges, (this last jump sponsored by and televised on the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 programme That's Incredible) spreading the concept worldwide. By 1982, they were jumping from mobile cranes and hot air balloons.

Commercial bungee jumping began with the New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

er, A J Hackett
A J Hackett
Alan John "A. J." Hackett is a New Zealand entrepreneur who popularised the extreme sport of bungee jumping.-Early life:Hackett grew up on Auckland's North Shore. He attended Westlake Boys High School, but left at the age of sixteen, and served an apprenticeship as a carpenter. At this time, he...

, who made his first jump from Auckland's Greenhithe Bridge
Upper Harbour Bridge
The Upper Harbour Bridge or Greenhithe Bridge is a motorway bridge , which spans over a reach of the Waitemata Harbour and connects Hobsonville and Greenhithe , New Zealand....

 in 1986. During the following years, Hackett performed a number of jumps from bridges and other structures (including the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

), building public interest in the sport, and opening the world's first permanent commercial bungee site; the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at Queenstown
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains....

 in the South Island
South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...

 of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. Hackett remains one of the largest commercial operators, with concerns in several countries.

Despite the inherent danger of jumping from a great height, several million successful jumps have taken place since 1980. This is attributable to bungee operators rigorously conforming to standards and guidelines governing jumps, such as double checking calculations and fittings for every jump. As with any sport, injuries can still occur (see below), and there have been fatalities. A relatively common mistake in fatality cases is to use a cord that is too long. The cord should be substantially shorter than the height of the jumping platform to allow it room to stretch. When the cord reaches its natural length the jumper either starts to slow down or keeps accelerating depending upon the speed of descent. One may not even start to slow until the cord has been stretched a significant amount, because the cord's resistance to distortion is zero at the natural length, and increases only gradually after, taking some time to even equal the jumper's weight. See also Potential energy
Potential energy
In physics, potential energy is the energy stored in a body or in a system due to its position in a force field or due to its configuration. The SI unit of measure for energy and work is the Joule...

 for a discussion of the spring constant and the force required to distort bungee cords and other spring-like objects.

Equipment

The elastic rope first used in bungee jumping, and still used by many commercial operators, is factory-produced braided shock cord. This consists of many latex
Latex
Latex is the stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Latexes may be natural or synthetic.Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants . It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins,...

 strands enclosed in a tough outer cover. The outer cover may be applied when the latex is pre-stressed, so that the cord's resistance to extension is already significant at the cord's natural length. This gives a harder, sharper bounce. The braided cover also provides significant durability benefits. Other operators, including A J Hackett and most southern-hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

 operators, use unbraided cords with exposed latex strands (pictured at right). These give a softer, longer bounce and can be home-produced.

There may be a certain elegance in using only a simple ankle attachment, but accidents where participants became detached led many commercial operators to use a body harness
Climbing harness
A climbing harness is a piece of equipment used in certain types of rock-climbing, abseiling or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety...

, if only as a backup for an ankle attachment. Body harnesses generally derive from climbing equipment rather than parachute equipment.

The highest jump

In August 2005, AJ Hackett added a SkyJump to the Macau Tower
Macau Tower
Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre , also known as Macau Tower, is a tower located in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, now a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The tower measures 338 m in height from ground level to the highest point...

, making it the world's highest jump at 233 metres (764.4 ft). The SkyJump did not qualify as the world's highest bungee as it is not strictly speaking a bungee jump, but instead what is referred to as a 'Decelerator-Descent' jump, using a steel cable and decelerator system, rather than an elastic rope. On 17 December 2006, The Macau Tower started operating a proper bungee jump, which became the "Highest Commercial Bungee Jump In The World" according to the Guinness Book of Records. The Macau Tower Bungy has a "Guide cable" system that limits swing (the jump is very close to the structure of the tower itself) but does not have any effect on the speed of descent, so this still qualifies the jump for the World Record.

Another commercial bungee jump currently in operation is just 13m smaller, at 220 metres (721.8 ft). This jump, made without guide ropes, is from the top of the Verzasca Dam
Verzasca Dam
The Contra Dam, commonly known as the Verzasca Dam and the Locarno Dam, is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in the Val Verzasca of Ticino, Switzerland. The dam creates Lago di Vogorno upstream of Lake Maggiore and supports a 105 MW hydroelectric power station...

 near Locarno, Switzerland. It appears in the opening scene of the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 film GoldenEye
GoldenEye
GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the first film in the series not to take story elements from the works of novelist Ian Fleming...

. The Bloukrans Bridge
Bloukrans Bridge
The Bloukrans Bridge is an arch bridge located near Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. The construction, which was completed in 1984, stands at height of 216m above the Bloukrans River, making it the highest single span arch bridge in the world...

 in South Africa and the Verzasca Dam
Verzasca Dam
The Contra Dam, commonly known as the Verzasca Dam and the Locarno Dam, is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in the Val Verzasca of Ticino, Switzerland. The dam creates Lago di Vogorno upstream of Lake Maggiore and supports a 105 MW hydroelectric power station...

 jumps are pure freefall swinging bungee from a single cord.

Bloukrans Bridge
Bloukrans Bridge
The Bloukrans Bridge is an arch bridge located near Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. The construction, which was completed in 1984, stands at height of 216m above the Bloukrans River, making it the highest single span arch bridge in the world...

 opened in 1997 and uses a pendulum bungee system. It is 216m high, from the platform to the river below.

Guinness only records jumps from fixed objects to guarantee the accuracy of the measurement. John Kockleman however recorded a 2200 feet (670.6 m) bungee jump from a hot air balloon in California in 1989. In 1991 Andrew Salisbury jumped from 9000 feet (2,743.2 m) from a helicopter over Cancun for a television program and with Reebok sponsorship. The full stretch was recorded at 3157 feet (962.3 m). He landed safely under parachute.

One commercial jump higher than all others is at the Royal Gorge Bridge
Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a theme park. The bridge deck hangs above the Arkansas River, and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2003, when it was surpassed by the Beipanjiang River 2003 Bridge in China. It is a...

 in Colorado. The height of the platform is 321 metres (1,053 ft). However, this jump is rarely available, as part of the Royal Gorge Go Fast Games—first in 2005, then again in 2007. Previous to this the record was held in West Virginia, USA, by New Zealander Chris Allum, who bungee jumped 823ft (251m) from the New River Gorge Bridge on "Bridge Day" 1992 to set a world’s record for the longest bungee jump from a fixed structure.

In popular culture

Several major movies have featured bungee jumps, most famously the opening sequence of the 1995 James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 film GoldenEye
GoldenEye
GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the first film in the series not to take story elements from the works of novelist Ian Fleming...

in which Bond makes a jump over the edge of a dam in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (in reality the dam is in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

: Verzasca Dam
Verzasca Dam
The Contra Dam, commonly known as the Verzasca Dam and the Locarno Dam, is an arch dam on the Verzasca River in the Val Verzasca of Ticino, Switzerland. The dam creates Lago di Vogorno upstream of Lake Maggiore and supports a 105 MW hydroelectric power station...

, and the jump was genuine, not an animated special effect).

It appears in the title of the South Korean film Bungee Jumping of Their Own
Bungee Jumping of Their Own
Bungee Jumping of Their Own is a 2001 South Korean film starring Lee Byung-hun and Lee Eun-ju. It was selected to appear in the 2002 Frameline Film Festival and the 2004 Korean Film Festival DC.- Plot :...

(Beonjijeompeureul hada 번지점프를 하다; 2001), although it does not play a large part in the film.

A fictional proto-bungee jump is a plot point in the Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon born May 24, 1963) is an American author and "one of the most celebrated writers of his generation", according to The Virginia Quarterly Review....

 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

In the film Selena
Selena (film)
Selena is a 1997 American biographical drama film about the life and career of the late Tejano music star Selena, a recording artist who was well known in the Mexican-American and Hispanic communities in the United States and Mexico before she was shot to death at the age of twenty-three.The movie...

, in which Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lynn Lopez is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, and fashion designer. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. Subsequently venturing into acting, she gained recognition in the 1995 action-thriller...

 plays Selena Quintanilla-Perez, she is shown bungee jumping at a carnival. This actual event took place shortly before Selena's death in 1995.

Catapult

In "Catapult" (Reverse Bungee or Bungee Rocket) the 'jumper' starts on the ground. The jumper is secured and the cord stretched, then released and shooting the jumper up into the air. This is often achieved using either a crane or a hoist attached to a (semi-)perma structure. This simplifies the action of stretching the cord and later lowering the participant to the ground.

"Twin Tower" is similar with two oblique cords.

Trampoline

Bungy Trampoline uses, as its name suggests, elements from bungy and trampolining. The participant begins on a trampoline and is fitted into a body harness, which is attached via bungy cords to two high poles on either side of the trampoline. As they begin to jump, the bungy cords are tightened, allowing a higher jump than could normally be made from a trampoline alone.

Running

Bungee Running involves no jumping as such. It merely consists of, as the name suggests, running along a track (often inflatable) with a bungee cord attached. One often has a velcro-backed marker that marks how far the runner got before the bungee cord pulled back. This activity can often be found at fairs and carnivals and is often most popular with children.

Ramp

Bungee jumping off a ramp. Two rubber cords - the "bungees" - are tied around the participants waist to a harness. Those bungee cords are linked to steel cables along which they can slide due to stainless pulleys. The participants bicycle, sled or ski before jumping.

Suspended Catch Air Device

SCAD diving is similar to bungee jumping in that participant is dropped from a height, but in this variation there is no cord, instead the participant falls into a net

Safety and possible injury


Bungee jumping injuries may be divided into those that occur secondary to equipment mishap or tragic accident, and those that occur regardless of safety measures. In the first instance, injury can happen if the safety harness fails, the cord elasticity is miscalculated, or the cord is not properly connected to the jump platform. In 1986 Michael Lush died of multiple injuries after bungee jumping for a stunt on a BBC television programme and in 1997, Laura Patterson, one of a 16-member professional bungee jumping team, died of massive cranial trauma when she jumped from the top level of the Louisiana Superdome
Louisiana Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, previously known as the Louisiana Superdome and colloquially known as the Superdome, is a sports and exhibition arena located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA...

 and collided head-first into the concrete-based playing field. She was practicing for an exhibition intended to be performed during the halftime show
Halftime show
A halftime show is a performance given during halftime, the period between the first and second halves, or the second and third quarters, of a sporting event. Halftime shows are not given for sports with an irregular or indeterminate number of divisions , or for sports that do not have an extended...

 of Super Bowl XXXI
Super Bowl XXXI
Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game played on January 26, 1997, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1996 regular season. The National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American...

.

Injuries that occur despite safety measures generally relate to the abrupt rise in upper body intravascular pressure during bungee cord recoil. Eyesight damage is the most frequently reported complication. Impaired eyesight secondary to retinal haemorrhage may be transient or take several weeks to resolve. In one case, a 26 year old woman's eyesight was still impaired after 7 months. Whiplash injuries may occur as the jumper is jolted on the bungee cord and in at least one case, this has led to quadriplegia secondary to a broken neck. Very serious injury can also occur if the jumper's neck or body gets entangled in the cord. More recently, carotid artery dissection leading to a type of stroke after bungee jumping has also been described. All of these injuries have occurred in fit and healthy people in their twenties and thirties. Bungee jumping has also been shown to increase stress and decrease immune function.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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