Bungee jumping is a thrilling adventure activity that has been thrilling thrill seekers for decades. For those unfamiliar with the sensation, it involves jumping off of a high platform or building while being attached to an elastic cord. The cord is designed to give the jumper a dramatic and sprightly fall and rebound, as the cord catches and bounces back up again. It’s a thrilling experience, and one that has earned its place in the world of extreme sports. But where did it all begin? Read on to uncover the origin story of bungee jumping.
To most, bungee jumping is an exciting adventure activity that offers the opportunity to experience a few moments of pure adrenaline. It involves strapping yourself to an elastic cord, usually attached to a bridge or tall platform, and leaping off into the unknown. Once you’ve jumped, the cord catches you, allowing you to experience a few moments of weightlessness before rebounding and bouncing back up again. It’s an exhilarating experience, and one that has earned itself an international following.
But before bungee jumping became the exciting adventure it is today, it was a spiritual ritual among the Vanuatu people of the South Pacific islands. The Vanuatu tribe have been performing a ritual called ‘land diving’ for centuries, which is believed to be the direct predecessor of modern bungee jumping. The ritual involved men diving off of wooden towers with vines tied to their feet. As they fell to the ground, the vines would catch them, allowing them to experience a few moments of weightlessness before rebounding and bouncing back up again.
Uncovering the Origin Story
The story of bungee jumping begins with the Vanuatu tribe, and their ritual of land diving. It is believed that the tradition was first practiced by the Vanuatu men as an initiation rite of passage. The practice was so integral to the culture that it was even featured in the British documentary film “The Serpent and the Rainbow”, which documented the tribe’s ancient traditions.
The Vanuatu land diving ritual, however, was not the same as the bungee jumping experienced today. The ritual involved ropes made of tree vines instead of elastic cords, and did not involve the same degree of adrenaline-pumping action as modern bungee jumping.
Birthplace of Bungee Jumping
The modern version of bungee jumping was invented in 1979 by a group of four thrill-seeking friends in England. The group, which consisted of members David Allardice, Chris Baker, Simon Keeling, and Alan Weston, had learned of the Vanuatu land diving ritual and were inspired to recreate the experience with modern technology.
The group began experimenting with various elastic cords, and eventually came up with a design that allowed for a safe and exciting bungee jumping experience. They went on to launch the first commercial bungee jumping operation in 1980. From there, the activity quickly spread across the world and has since become a beloved extreme sport.
Bungee jumping is an exhilarating adventure activity that has been thrilling thrill seekers for decades. But where did it all begin? As it turns out, it was a spiritual ritual among the Vanuatu people of the South Pacific islands. The modern version of bungee jumping was invented in 1979 by a group of four friends in England, and since then, the activity has become a beloved extreme sport with an international following. So the next time you take a leap of faith off a bridge or tall platform, you can rest assured knowing that you’re taking part in an activity that has been thrilling daredevils for centuries.