You’re not alone. In fact, there are a lot of adrenaline junkies out there waiting for their next scare. That’s one reason why horror films, roller coasters, and bungee jumping are so popular. But so-called “safe scares” are not enough for some people. And the search for the next thrill has spawned a highly dangerous sport, BASE jumping. Which literally stands for “Buildings,” “Antennas,” “Spans,” and “Earth.”
It’s a parachute sport, but instead of leaping out of airplanes, BASE jumpers parachute off of cliffs, bridges, tall buildings, and TV antennas. And it’s illegal in lot of places, which means that when you land, you’re likely to get arrested. BASE jumping is also considered an extreme sport, because you only have a few seconds to open your parachute – or you’ll die. It’s also more dangerous than jumping out of a plane, because you have to get clear of whatever you jumped from before you unfurl your parachute. In fact, a lot more people die from BASE jumping every year than standard high-altitude skydiving.
Since it got started in the early 1980’s, about 100 people a year die BASE jumping around the world. One of the latest fatalities involved Shannon Dean, whose parachute malfunctioned on her 4th jump of the day outside of Twin Falls, Idaho. So, what’s the takeaway on this? If you crave excitement, learn to skydive properly, with the special pressure suits, backup parachutes, and less dangerous jumps. You’ll get the thrill of the dive, and be more likely to live long enough to do it again.