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## Where Did the First Bungee Jump Take Place?

Bungee jumping, an extreme sport that involves leaping from a tall structure while attached to a long, elastic cord, has captivated thrill-seekers worldwide. The first documented bungee jump, which laid the foundation for this adrenaline-pumping activity, occurred in a remote and captivating setting.

### **The Birth of Bungee Jumping in the Vanuatu Islands**

In the 1950s, British anthropologist and filmmaker David Attenborough visited the Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific. During his time there, he witnessed the traditional “land diving” ceremony performed by the Pentecost tribe, known locally as “Naghol.” In this ancient ritual, young men jumped from wooden towers using vines tied to their ankles.

Attenborough’s footage of the Naghol ceremony captivated audiences around the world. Inspired by the tribe’s tradition, New Zealand adventurer A.J. Hackett became intrigued by the possibility of recreating a similar experience using modern equipment.

### **Hackett’s Leap of Faith**

In 1986, Hackett traveled to the Vanuatu islands and worked with the Pentecost tribe to develop a safe and controlled version of their ritual. He used a high-tensile rubber cord instead of vines, which allowed for a controlled bounce and reduced the risk of injury.

On April 1, 1987, Hackett made history by performing the first modern bungee jump from the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand. The 43-meter jump was a resounding success and marked the birth of a new extreme sport.

### **The Evolution of Bungee Jumping**

Following Hackett’s pioneering jump, bungee jumping quickly gained popularity and spread around the world. Jumpers sought out higher and more challenging structures, including skyscrapers, cranes, and hot air balloons.

The development of new technologies, such as improved cords and harness systems, increased safety and made bungee jumping more accessible to a broader audience. Today, bungee jumping is a popular tourist attraction and a staple of many extreme sports events.

### **Legacy of the Pentecost Tribe**

The Pentecost tribe’s Naghol ceremony remains a sacred tradition passed down through generations. While modern bungee jumping has its roots in this ancient ritual, it has evolved into a distinct and thrilling sport.

The tribe’s contribution to the development of bungee jumping has been acknowledged by the sport’s community. In 2005, a bungee jump was conducted from the original Naghol tower on Pentecost Island, paying homage to the origins of this adventure sport.

### **Conclusion**

The first bungee jump took place in the Vanuatu islands, inspired by the traditional land diving ceremony of the Pentecost tribe. A.J. Hackett’s pioneering leap from the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge in 1987 marked the beginning of a new extreme sport that has captured the imagination of thrill-seekers worldwide. The legacy of the Pentecost tribe and their ancient ritual continues to resonate in the adrenaline-pumping world of bungee jumping.

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