25 Most Death Defying Stunts Ever

Posted by , Updated on April 26, 2014

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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.

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25

Jumping the Jet

Doug Dancer jumping an airplane

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.

24

Going for a Spin

Rick Meisel escaping a washing machine

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.

23

Bus on Fire

Steve Hudis jumping motorcycles in a bus

Breaking a world record, stuntman Steve Hudis jumped 15 motorcycles and flew through a giant fireball in this school bus before landing again.

22

The Ultimate Road Rash

Reno Jaton being dragged behind a car

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.

21

60 to 0

Dennis Pinto driving a bike into a van

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.


20

Walking the World Trade Center

Philippe Petit's World Trade Center Walk

In 1974 Philippe Petit, a French tightrope walker, amazed the world by walking between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

19

Rotterdam Building Slide

Jackie Chan Rotterdam Building Slide

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

18

The Human Cannonball

The human cannoball, David Smith Jr

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.

17

The Chinese Water Torture Cell

Harry Houdini and the Chinese water torture cell

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.

16

Crushed by a House

Buster Keaton having a house collapse on him

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.

15

Tightrope Madness

Famous Austrian climber and photographer, Heinz Zak

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.

14

Highest Hotel Free Fall

Dar Robinson jumps out of a window in Sharky's Machine

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.

13

Ben-Hur Chariot Race

Joe Canutt thrown from chariot in Ben-Hur chariot race

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.

12

Jumping the Grand Canyon

Robbie Knievel jumping the Grand Canyon

On May 20, 1999 Robbie Knievel did what his father had never managed…he successfully jumped the Grand Canyon.

11

Jetpack Man

Yves Rossy flying in his jetpack

Swiss air force fighter pilot Yves Rossy, otherwise known as Fusion Man recently flew across the English Channel with little using only his jetpack.

10

The Goldeneye Bungee Jump

Video thumbnail for youtube video 25 Most Death Defying Stunts Ever

For the popular James Bond movie Goldeneye Wayne Michaels made the highest bungee jump in history from the top of this Swiss dam.

9

Skydiving Without a Parachute

Gary Connery skydives without a parachute

Diving out of the side of a helicopter with nothing but a wingsuit, Gary landed on a pile of cardboard boxes thousands of feet below to become the world’s first ever successful no parachute skydive.

8

The Wing Walking Wonder

Omar Locklear – Airplane Wing Walker

Omar Locklear stumbled across stuntman fame quite by accident. He was originally a pilot in the US Army Air Service during World War I where he found himself walking out on his wings to perform repairs mid-flight. After leaving the military he discovered he could use his talent to entertain the masses and thus gave birth to a popular daredevil pastime

7

Hanging From The Second Hand

Harold Lloyd hanging by his fingertips from a clock in Safety Last!

Harold Lloyd, one of the most popular actors from the silent movie era, was known for almost always performing at least one dangerous stunt per film. His most famous was when he hung from the second hand of a clock tower by only his fingertips.

6

BASE Jumping Off A Skateboard Into The Grand Canyon

Bob Burnquist, a Brazilian professional skateboarder jumping Grand Canyon

Bob Burnquist, a Brazilian professional skateboarder rode his skateboard off a ramp, grinded on a 40ft rail, and then BASE jumped down into Grand Canyon in 2010.

5

Rally Car Over A River

Travis Pastrana jumps a rally car off of California’s Pine Street Pier

In 2010 Travis Pastrana successfully broke the world record for longest jump made in a rally car when he drove it off California’s Pine Street Pier.

4

A Strong Stomach

Tom Owen being crushed by a car

In spite of several broken ribs and internal bleeding, Tom Owen was proud of his accomplishment as a truck loaded with 20 kids sat atop his stomach for several minutes.

3

On The Edge

Eskil Ronningsbakken doing a handstand on the edge of a metal beam

Eskil Ronningsbakken likes to live life on the edge. In fact, he spends most of his time doing insane stunts just inches from certain death.

2

French Spiderman

Alain Robert climbing Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Building

Known as the French Spiderman, Alain Robert has free climbed some of the tallest buildings in the world with nothing more than some climbing shoes and chalk for his hands.

1

Niagra Falls Tightrope Walk

Nik Wallenda tightrope walk across Niagra Falls

Nik Wallenda, the Canadian daredevil would need his passport for this stunt because in 2012 he did what has been illegal for 125 years – he tightrope walked from the United States to Canada in an unprecedented event that took almost 40 minutes.

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