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## Why Jump: The History of Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is an extreme sport in which a person jumps from a tall structure with an elastic cord attached to their ankles. The cord slows the jumper down as they fall, creating a thrilling and unique experience.

### Origins of Bungee Jumping

The origins of bungee jumping can be traced back to the Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific. In the 1950s, a group of young men from the Pentecost tribe began jumping from high wooden towers with vines tied around their ankles. This practice, known as “land diving,” was a coming-of-age ritual and a way to prove their bravery.

### Commercialization of Bungee Jumping

In 1979, New Zealanders AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch were inspired by the land diving ritual. They developed a modern bungee jumping system using a high-strength elastic cord, and on November 12, 1986, they made the first commercial bungee jump from a bridge in Oxford, New Zealand.

### Popularity and Growth

Bungee jumping quickly gained popularity as a tourist activity and extreme sport. In the 1990s, bungee jumping sites were established all over the world, including the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge in Zambia and the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado, USA.

### Safety and Technology

Over the years, bungee jumping equipment and safety procedures have been continuously improved. Jumpers now wear harnesses with multiple backup cords, and jump sites are inspected regularly to ensure they meet safety standards.

###Psychological Benefits

In addition to the thrill and excitement, bungee jumping has been shown to have psychological benefits. It can help people overcome fears, build confidence, and improve self-esteem.

### Types of Bungee Jumping

There are several different types of bungee jumping, including:

* **Bridge Bungee:** Jumping from a bridge over a body of water or canyon.
* **Crane Bungee:** Jumping from a crane or other tall structure.
* **Swing Bungee:** Jumping from a platform that swings out over the ground or water.
* **Water Bungee:** Jumping from a platform over a body of water and then falling into the water.

### Famous Bungee Jumps

Some of the most famous bungee jumps include:

* **The world’s highest bungee jump:** The Macau Tower bungee jump in Macau, China, with a height of 233 meters (764 feet).
* **The world’s longest bungee swing:** The Nevis Swing in New Zealand, with a swing length of 80 meters (262 feet).
* **The world’s first bungee jump with a running start:** The “Superman Jump” on the Khaokho Skywalk in Thailand.
* **The world’s first jump from a hot air balloon:** The “Skydive with a Twist” in Oregon, USA.

### Conclusion

Bungee jumping has come a long way since its origins in the Vanuatu islands. Today, it is a popular and widely accessible extreme sport enjoyed by people around the world. Whether you are looking for a thrilling adventure or a way to push your limits, bungee jumping is an experience that you will never forget.

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