Can you bungee jump from the Empire State Building?
A popular New York travel Instagram announced that the Empire State Building will begin offering bungee jumping this summer.
However, some observant Instagrammers looked at their calendars and caught onto the April Fools Day joke.
Can you bungee jump from the Empire State Building?
The Instagram account New York Bucket List announced that you can bungee jump off the Empire State Building this August.
Bucket Listers posted that they were teaming up with MileHighSky to offer unique bungee jumping experiences at five iconic locations in five popular cities around the globe.
The post explained that the exclusive experiences will take place at the Empire State Building in New York, Willis Tower in Chicago, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the US Bank Tower in LA, and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.
All the details about the experience have not been released but interested parties can sign up on the email wait-list to be notified when more information is released.
However, some Instagram users caught on quick and took to the comments to remind viewers that it is April Fools Day.
What did people say about the joke?
The top comment on the post from @newyorknico reads: “What day is it today? I forgot.”
The second comment from @lyss reads: “is this a joke LMAO.”
While Bucket Listers haven’t confirmed or denied the news themselves the news does seem unbelievable.
Is bungee jumping safe?
Bungee jumps are usually only just a few hundred feet but the Empire State Building stands at 1,250-feet-tall with 102 floors.
There have been 5 bungee jumping fatalities recorded between 2015 and 2018, according to Outdoorasaurus.
On a clear day, you can see six states from the top of the Empire State Building: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Bungee jumping death statistics report a 1 in 500,000 chance of a fatality.
To compare, nearly 1.25 million people are killed in car accidents each year.
Why is the Empire State Building so iconic?
The Empire State Building is currently the 4th tallest building in New York City, the 6th tallest in the United States, and the 43rd tallest tower in the world.
A blog about Outdoor and Adventure Activities
The Complete Guide to Bungee Jumping
What is bungee jumping?
Bungee jumping put simply is an exhilarating adventure sport which involves jumping from a high platform – normally from a dam, bridge, crane or tower, connected to a specially-made thick elastic cord which recoils after a few seconds of freefall. Though the bungee platforms are usually from static structures, it is also possible, and highly thrilling, to bungee jump from hot air balloons, mountain gondolas and helicopters.
Practiced around the world, this activity is great to do in groups with friends or family, cheering each other on as you wait for your own turn to jump!
Some bungee sites have a minimum weight limit rather than a minimum age, so it’s a sport that can be tried by a range of ages, with no maximum age limit. Some bungee sites however have a minimum age, the average being around 14 years old, but this is dependent on each individual bungee.
A sport that requires minimal preparation on the participant’s part, requiring only a minimal level of fitness, good health, to wear appropriate footwear, and to listen to a safety briefing, this is a great sport that almost anyone can try!
You can ease into bungee jumping by picking the height that suits you best, depending on your threshold for tolerating heights. To compare various bungee sites from one another, take a look at our list of the World’s 10 highest bungee jumps! If you have your eyes set on booking a specific bungee jump or would like to know if there’s a site around you, make sure you check out all our bungee jumps around the world!
History of Bungee Jumping
According to a legend surrounding the South Pacific island of Pentecost Island, bungee jumping originated there. The legend says that a woman, fleeing her husband who was mistreating her, climbed a tree to hide, which her husband followed her up. Just as her husband tried to grab her, she tied vines around her ankles and jumped. Her husband jumped at the same time but hit the ground and died, so the woman was saved by the vines.
A man from the South of Pentecost Island bungee jumping using vines
Since this legend originated, the men of the island have practiced jumping from trees with vines tied around their ankles. This ‘land diving’ or Naghol, as it is known on the island, has become a tradition on Pentecost Island. It is practiced every year on Saturdays between April and June.
In April 1979, on ‘April Fool’s Day’ the Oxford Dangerous Sport Club tried jumping from Bristol’s Clifton Bridge in England. Illegally and moderately unpreparedly, a few members of this club attached elastic bungee cords to themselves and jumped – something they later did again at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. the following year.
This, along with other jumps, propelled the sport into the mainstream. In 1989, the now world-famous New Zealander A.J. Hackett opened the world’s first commercial bungee jumping location in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Bungee jumping at Europabrucke, Innsbruck, Austria
What equipment is used in bungee jumping?
The amount of equipment required for this sport is minimal, with the participant only needed to bring appropriate footwear.
The bungee site will supply the specially designed braided shock cord you will be connected to, the leg and body harness you will be wearing, connected to the bungee cord and a helmet may be required at some destinations.
Don’t be skeptical of the location if you don’t spot a harness, as some bungee sites simply connect jumpers to the bungee cord via the ankles, whilst others use a harness. You can rest assured, knowing both pieces of equipment keep you secure:
Bungee Cord: A specially designed and made cord made from tightly woven strands of rubber. With different strengths and thicknesses available, different bungee sites opt for slightly varying cords. This cord will have recoil when you reach a certain point before you reach the ground.
Harnesses: The harnesses are worn around the thighs, waist, chest, and shoulders, with the bungee cord connected at the front to both of these pieces of the harness.
Bungee jumping Stockhorn, Interlaken, Switzerland
What will I do?
Arrive at the bungee site at least an hour before your slot, this will give you time to take in the surroundings, watch the people before you jump and get acquainted with the instructors and have a safety briefing.
Before the jump, you will be weighed so that the operators set up the particular rope you will use. After attaching your harnesses and rope and checking everything is secure and safe, you’ll then be ready to jump!
During the activity:
Relax, stretch your arms out, bend your knees and jump into the void. Enjoy the sensation of the freefall, it will only last a couple of seconds, and then the rope will be fully stretched and the elastic will recoil and bring you back up slightly and you will swing momentarily at the end of the rope until you are either lowered down to a specially-made landing area airbag, platform or even a boat sometimes (dependent on the location) or lifted back up to the spot you jumped from.
After having your harnesses detached from the rope and the harness subsequently taken off, you’ll be able to relax and think back on the incredible bungee jumping experience you’ve just had!
Bungee jumping Sentosa, Singapore
Who can do bungee jumping?
Bungee jumping is an inclusive, accessible sport, able to be tried by people with reduced mobility, amputees or visitors with partial paralysis. If you have any doubts about whether yourself or one of your group can participate in bungee jumping, it is highly recommended to speak to the staff at the bungee site that you intend to visit beforehand.
Min. and max. weights:
Rules vary for different bungees, but the general minimum weight for bungee jumping is 35/40kg. The maximum weight again differs between sites but is generally around 145/150kg.
Bungee jumping unfortunately is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
Generally the participant must be in good health, if you suffer with epilepsy, joint problems or heart disease you may not be allowed to participate. It is worth checking with the bungee site you’re planning on visiting ahead of booking to see their individual policy on health requirements if you are unsure.
It is also worth noting that it is not advised for bungee participants to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as they may not be permitted to participate. This sport requires a high level of engagement and attention to the safety instructions provided by instructors.
Bridge Swinging near Barcelona, Spain
Variations of bungee
This exhilarating sport has a number of equally exciting variations such as bridge and canyon swings and sky jumping.
Bridge Swing: This is offered at a number of bridges around the world, bridge swinging is a variation of bungee jumping in that you still jump from a bridge but the type of rope is different and you swing rather than freefall.
Canyon swing: Similar to bridge swinging, though instead of jumping from a bridge, you jump from the side of a canyon. Canyon swinging is like cliff jumping, but you’re attached to a rope.
Sky jump: A sky jump is a controlled fall from a large height. The participant has a wire attached to them as they ‘fall’ at a controlled speed. Unlike bungee jumping, there’s no recoil of the wire and most sky jumps will end on a landing platform at the bottom of the tower that you jump from.
For more information about this exhilarating sport, check out our bungee jumping articles.
The 9 Best Places in the World to Go Bungee Jumping
Kraig Becker is a writer based out of Roanoke, Virgina who has covered adventure travel and product reviews for TripSavvy since 2013.
Bungee jumping is probably the most straightforward adventure sport in the entire world. You attach one end of a long, measured rubber band to yourself, secure the other end to a fixed object, and then throw yourself off a bridge, tower, dam, or other tall structure. After that, gravity does all of the work while your heart nearly beats out of your chest.
The only way to truly understand the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump is to do it yourself. It is one of the most visceral and immediate thrills that any adventure traveler can experience, and fortunately, there are plenty of places to give it a try all across the globe. Many of these locations offer spectacular views and fantastic settings, not that you’ll notice much while plummeting through the air. You’ll have your eyes squeezed tightly shut throughout much of the experience.
If you’ve decided that you’re ready to give bungee jumping a try, either in the U.S. or abroad, here are our top picks for places to take the plunge.
The Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand
Bungee pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch launched both themselves off the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand back in 1988 and, in the process, claim to have started this international phenomenon that came to be known as bungee jumping.
Today, bungee fans still flock to the bridge in Queenstown to take the leap that supposedly started it all. There are even options to jump tandem if you have a like-minded travel companion, but if your friends don’t want to join in, they can watch everything while standing on the nearby observation deck. You might also be able to watch jumpers while riding in a jet boat on the river below, getting your own palms sweaty simply by watching others.
The company that started it all also has a bungee-jumping operation at the Aukland Bridge on New Zealand’s North Island, ensuring that no matter where you go, you’ll have a chance to give the sport a try.
The Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe
At about 365 feet in height, the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe is not the highest bungee jump globally, but it’s one of the most beautiful. After all, there are few other places on the planet where you can dive headfirst through a rainbow.
This jump sends adrenaline junkies plummeting off the bridge toward the Zambezi River below. As you drop, the stunning views of the Batoka Gorge surround you, with the amazing Victoria Falls providing a dramatic backdrop. Dubbed the “smoke that thunders,” the falls are one of the largest and most spectacular on the planet, so keep your eyes open on the way down.
The Macau Tower in China
Billed as the world’s highest bungee jump, the leap from the top of the Macau Tower in China provides astonishing city views. During this journey down, jumpers free fall from a platform located about 764 feet above the city streets, plummeting for about four to five seconds at extreme speeds before coming to a gentle stop about 100 feet above the ground. A guided cable lowers jumpers into a specially designed airbag that provides a safe and soft end to the brief but oh-so-exciting adventure. The very brave can even bungee jump at night if they want to experience this impressive fall in a completely different way.
The Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa
At more than 700 feet in height, the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa is intimidating. This bungee destination can be found north of Cape Town and approximately 25 kilometers east of Plettenberg Bay. Face Adrenalin has been running this operation since 1997, and it is still one of the top places to jump on the entire African continent. Open year-round, this is a safe, smooth jump that provides a massive rush of energy, then slowly and gently lowers you down.
And when you’re finished on the bungee, be sure to head over to Tsitsikamma National Park to go ziplining through the jungle.