Since the beginning of time humans have been pushing the limits of their capabilities. Although this can manifest itself in many ways in everything from organized sports to the corporate drawing board, today we are going to dive into a world where pushing your limits quite often lands you in life or death situations. Although we have probably all seen stunt men in action while watching our favorite Hollywood movies, few of us are aware of just how dangerous and hard their jobs are. So, in honor of their willingness to risk life and limb in obscurity we bring you the 25 most death defying stunts ever.
Reaching a speed of 73 mph before launching off of a 120 ft ramp stuntman Doug Dancer successfully cleared the 160ft wingspan of this passenger jet.
Getting out of six pairs of handcuffs and two leg irons escape artist Rick Meisel took a few tumbles and nearly drowned before escaping this spinning washing machine.
Breaking a world record, stuntman Steve Hudis jumped 15 motorcycles and flew through a giant fireball in this school bus before landing again.
In spite of some minor injuries, Reno Jaton successfully set a world record when he was dragged behind a jet car along the pavement for a quarter mile at 236mph.
Setting himself on fire, motorcycle stuntman Dennis Pinto drove full speed into the side of a van landing still smoldering in a pile of cardboard boxes on the other side.
In 1974 Philippe Petit, a French tightrope walker, amazed the world by walking between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Famous for doing all of his own stunts, actor Jackie Chan’s most memorable moment was his freefall slide down the Willemswerf Building for the movie Who Am I
Known as the “bullet”, David Smith Jr. has been shot out of over 5,000 cannons in his career as a stuntman and he currently holds the record for longest shot ever at 200ft.
Placed upside down into a giant water-filled tank known as the Chines water torture cell, Harry Houdini, the most famous magician ever, always found a way to escape.
The popular comedian would often do insane, death defying stunts simply to elicit a laugh. The most famous was when he had the front of a 3 story house collapse on him. The only reason he survived was because of a single window through which he fit.
Hans Zak is a famous daredevil who’s routine typically involves walking a tightrope between extremely tall structures like you see in this picture of Yosemite Park.
Dar Robinson, the late stuntman who died in a motorcycle accident while filming Million Dollar Mystery accomplished some of the most dangerous stunts in history during his career. His most well known was when he bailed out of a hotel window 220ft above the ground for the movie Sharky’s Machine. To this day it is still the highest free fall ever performed without the used wires for any commercially released film.
Probably one of the closest calls in Hollywood stunt history, Joe Canutt was doubling for Charlton Heston in the chariot race scene when he was thrown from the chariot. Fortunately he managed to grab onto it before being trampled to death and the scene was kept in the final release of the film.
On May 20, 1999 Robbie Knievel did what his father had never managed…he successfully jumped the Grand Canyon.
Swiss air force fighter pilot Yves Rossy, otherwise known as Fusion Man recently flew across the English Channel with little using only his jetpack.