## Which Country is the Birthplace of Bungee Jumping?

Bungee jumping is a thrilling activity that involves leaping from a tall structure with an elastic cord attached to your feet. The cord stretches as you fall, providing a gentle bounce back up into the air. It’s a popular tourist attraction around the world, but where did this daring sport originate?

### Vanuatu: The True Birthplace

The true birthplace of bungee jumping is the island nation of Vanuatu, located in the South Pacific Ocean. In the 1950s, a group of local villagers known as the Naghol practiced a ritual called “land diving.”

Land diving involved climbing a tall wooden tower and jumping off with only vines tied around their ankles. As they fell, the vines would stretch and cushion their impact with the ground. It was a way to test bravery and prove manhood.

### John and Chris: The Western Pioneers

In 1979, two British adventurers named John Lyall and Chris Baker witnessed land diving in Vanuatu. Inspired by the ritual, they decided to adapt it for a Western audience.

They returned to England and, in 1982, performed the first commercial bungee jump from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. The jump was a success, and bungee jumping quickly gained popularity around the world.

### Other Claims

While Vanuatu is widely recognized as the birthplace of bungee jumping, other countries have also claimed to have a role in its development.

* **New Zealand:** In the early 1990s, New Zealand introduced commercial bungee jumping to the United States. They also made advancements in safety equipment and techniques.

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* **United States:** The United States has played a significant role in the growth and commercialization of bungee jumping. It has hosted numerous competitive bungee jumping events and is home to some of the tallest bungee jumping sites in the world.

* **France:** France also claims to have invented bungee jumping in the 1980s, but this claim is disputed by historians.

### Variations on Bungee Jumping

Over the years, different variations on bungee jumping have emerged:

* **Bridge Bungee:** The most common type of bungee jump, performed from bridges over water or canyons.

* **Crane Bungee:** Jumps from a crane or construction site, typically involving a smaller drop height.

* **Rope Swing:** A similar activity where you swing from a rope or cord attached to a high platform.

* **Power Fan Bungee:** Jumps from a fan-assisted platform that provides a more controlled ascent and descent.

### Safety Considerations

Bungee jumping is a high-risk activity that requires careful planning and supervision. It is essential to:

* Use proper safety equipment, including a full-body harness and helmet.
* Jump from a reputable site with experienced operators.
* Weigh yourself accurately to ensure your cord is calibrated correctly.
* Receive a thorough safety briefing and follow all instructions.

### Conclusion

While other countries have contributed to the development of bungee jumping, Vanuatu remains the undisputed birthplace of this thrilling sport. The Naghol ritual of land diving inspired the modern version of bungee jumping, bringing a unique tradition to the world of extreme adventure.

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