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Top 10 Craziest Stunts Ever

VO: Adrian Sousa

Script written by Michael Wynands

The human body is a fragile thing… but that’s NOT enough to deter these ambitious daredevils. From Valery Rozov's Mount Everest BASE Jump, to Robbie Maddison’s Vegas Jump, to Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos Jump, these daredevils performed some of the most extreme stunts of all time. WatchMojo counts down 10 craziest stunts ever.

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Transcript
Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Craziest Stunts Ever


The human body is a fragile thing… but that’s NOT enough to deter these ambitious daredevils. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Craziest Stunts Ever.

For this list, we’re looking at the most intense, over-the-top, death-defying feats to ever be attempted. To be considered… they don’t have to have been successful.


#10: Valery Rozov's Mount Everest BASE Jump (2013)



Skydiving is an extreme activity that seems incredibly risky, but which, in reality, results in surprisingly few deaths. Sadly, the same cannot be said for BASE jumping, which is basically skydiving, with or without a wingsuit, from an earthly point of departure rather than an airplane. Any BASE jump is dangerous endeavor, but when Valery Rozov set the world record in 2013, he truly tempted fate. The Red Bull-sponsored Russian BASE jumper leapt off of Mount Everest from a height of 23,690 feet. In 2016, he set a new record with an even higher jump off of Cho Oyu in China, from 25,262 feet.


#9: Robbie Maddison’s Vegas Jump (2009)



Motorcycles have long been the vehicle of choice for daredevils looking to push the boundaries of common sense. In 2009, acclaimed Australian stunt rider extraordinaire Robbie Maddison wowed crowds on the Last Vegas strip when he soared 96 feet through the air. That distance alone would’ve been impressive, but he chose to ring in the New Year with a stunt like no other. Rather than landing on a traditional ramp, he jumped up onto the Vegas Arc de Triomphe. It required precision, a steady hand, and unshakeable confidence - one false move could’ve proved fatal. Though “Maddo” did severely cut his hand, he nailed the return landing otherwise unharmed.


#8: Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos Jump (2012)


There are just some places the human body wasn’t meant to go without a spaceship. The stratosphere… is one of them. But thrill seekers are always looking to push the boundaries of what we deem to be possible, and with this gigantic leap, Felix Baumgartner did just that. After ascending to a mind-blowing height of 24.26 miles, the Austrian Daredevil leapt from his specially-designed Red Bull Helium balloon and plummeted towards earth, free falling for 4 minutes and 19 seconds - breaking the sound barrier in the process. Though Google Exec Alan Eustace would surpass Baumgartner's height in 2014, such a jump would’ve likely never been attempted had Baumgertner not done it first.


#7: Alexander Polli Wingsuits Through a Gap (2012)


Like we’ve already discussed… BASE jumping is incredibly dangerous. Because you’re starting close to a structure, be it manmade (like a skyscraper) or natural (like a mountain), one misdirected swerve and you can make brutal contact with a very hard, unforgiving surface. So you can only imagine the extreme risk of trying to aim your body through a specific obstacle, in which one false move in ANY direction would mean certain demise. Despite the odds, in 2012, Alexander Polli managed to direct himself through an impossibly tight space at a speed of 155mph, and lived to watch the footage of himself doing so. Sadly, in 2016, he died performing another technically challenging jump in France.



#6: Mad Mike Hughes' Steam-Powered Rocket Jump (2014)


Steam punks and steam train enthusiasts rejoice, there’s room for steam-powered vehicles in the world of extreme stunts. Mike Hughes, whose stunts have earned him the label “Mad,” has described himself on his website as the “only man in history to design, build and launch himself in a rocket.’ The rocket in question is indeed steam-powered, and looks like something out of the Jetsons or Flash Gordon. In preparation for longer intended jumps - hopefully across the Snake River Canyon - Mike Hughes, a one-time Nascar crew chief, launched himself an impressive 1,374 feet in his homemade rocket. Whether he’ll attain his end goal… only time will tell.


#5: Paul Steiner’s Midair Plane Change (2010)


Flight via aircrafts is undeniably one of the most remarkable accomplishments of human engineering. After thousands of years looking longingly as birds took to the sky, humankind finally figured out how to do it for themselves. So you’d think that we’d be happy to stay put in the aircraft that’s keeping us aloft, but not Paul Steiner. In yet another Red Bull stunt, this skydiving enthusiast actually exited one plane, not with the intention of plunging towards earth… but to make his way to a different plane! The year was 2010, and the stunt took serious coordination, not only to ensure the safety of Steiner, but also that of the two gliders involved.


#4: Herbert Nitsch's Freedive (2012)



Whether they’re performed on land, in the air, or at sea, record-breaking stunts come with significant risks. One of the major challenges of freediving is the pressure one experiences underwater. Certain steps need to be taken to avoid potentially fatal repercussions. In 2012, Nitsch set out to break his own record of 702 feet, by going a full 100 feet deeper. Ultimately, he went over 830 feet down. Unfortunately, he also experienced a blackout at one point in the dive, and the repercussions of this loss of consciousness nearly cost him his life. It was feared that decompression sickness would leave him severely debilitated for life, but thankfully, he made a full recovery.


#3: Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon Jump (1974)



You know how Mad Mike Hughes wants to jump Snake River Canyon with his steam-powered rocket? Well, this is the iconic jump that inspired him. There is no name in daredevil history more iconic than Evil Knievel, and this was perhaps the most daring feat of his career. He set out to jump the mile-wide gap of the canyon. Of course, his usual motorcycle wouldn’t be enough to cover such a distance, so he upgraded to a steam-powered “Skycycle” rocket, which naturally, added to the drama and appeal of the whole thing. Sadly, he did not complete the jump, but his parachute deployed safely and he experienced only superficial injuries.




#2: Gary Connery Skydives Without a Parachute (2012)




BASE jumping seems like just about the most dangerous activity, right? Maybe before 2012... but that was the year when Gary Connery eliminated the parachute from the equation. Wearing a wingsuit, he dove from a height of 2,400 feet, and proceeded to guide himself down towards a pile of cardboard boxes - roughly 18,600 of them. It was the first time someone ever landed a wingsuit without deploying a parachute, but it would not be the last. In 2016, Luke Aikins took a similarly dangerous leap, but this time, from roughly 10 times the height - 25,000 feet - and he did it without a parachute OR wingsuit. He landed safely in a MASSIVE net.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions

Alain Robert’s Cheung Kong Center Free Climb (2005)

Evel Knievel Jumping 14 Greyhound Buses on a Harley [aka King Island Jump] (1975)


Uli Emanuele Wingsuits Through a Tiny Space (2015)


#1: Philippe Petit's Twin Towers Tightrope Walk (1974)




This high-wire artist captured the world’s attention when he walked between the Twin Towers. He was just 24 at the time, and he didn’t just walk across - he crossed the gap a total of 8 times while doing various antics. To be clear, this wasn’t a legal performance; he snuck up there with his co-conspirators. As with any good heist, a lot of planning went into what Petit dubbed “Le Coup.” Ultimately, he survived his 1,368 foot high performance, living to make amends with the authorities by giving a free show in Central Park. The only thing to ever come close to Petit’s stunt? Nik Wallenda’s Niagara Falls tightrope walk. Don’t look down.--
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