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ADVENTURE – Extreme sports - Bungee jumping

Did you know that Bungee jumping was born in an island in the South Pacific, and that there is a tribe that practice it as part of their annual harvest rite called Nagol?

 

This and some other interesting info is what you will find now.

 

3, 2, 1, Bungee!. This is what you will hear before your body starts to fall. However, it wasn't always like that.

Pentecostes island - South Pacific

The natives of Pentecostes island, in the South Pacific, do it every year. They jump from a tower made of bamboo sticks tied by a vine on their feet. This, as part of their harvest ritual. It is a tradition that is hundreds, maybe even thousands of years old. The legend says that a woman was the first in doing it.

 

She climbed a palm tree when fleeing from her abusive husband and had to tie a vine from her feet and jump. This act impressed the tribe so much that soon, others where trying to imitate her to prove their courage or, to get out from a similar problem.

It was not until 1954, when a group of writers from National Geographic arrived to the island, that this activity got world wide attention and it was published in January, 1955 with the title "South Seas Incredible Land Divers”. The tribe built towers from 45 to 80 feet (15 – 25 meters) and jumped with vines tied to their ankles.

They measured the necessary height to allow a slight contact between the head and the floor but stopped them before breaking their neck. The National Geographic returned to the island in 1970 and Kal Muller became the first person outside the tribe to try the jump. Muller described his 80 feet fall like this: I felt strangely shaken. The emotion had surpassed any physical discomfort.

 

Inspired by Muller, members of the Dangerous Sports Club, of the University of Oxford jumped from the Clifton bridge in England. They wore tuxedos and hats in this 230 feet (70 meters) fall. In 1988 A.J. Hackett opened the first commercial operation in Ohakune, New Zealand.

The event that detonates the popularity of this sport world wide was when A. J. Hackett jumped from the  Eiffel Tower in Paris in june 1987.

 

It was until the 90´s that this sport came to Mexico. First in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta beach, then in Guadalajara´s October fair. This last Bungee began a tour through the country taking the sport to places that never before had known it. In 1998 Bungee Mexico was born, as the first company of its type in northern Mexico and builds the tallest operation to this date, Bungee Cola de Caballo.

 

Nowadays Bungee is a sport with a great number of participants world-wide. There are jumping sites on every corner of the planet, from a platform with 180 meters of fall next to Victoria cascade in Africa, to a cableway in Switzerland. Every day new places are open and more people experience the freedom that Bungee jump offers.

 

¡The sport is here to stay!

*2008 * Bilingual-History.Jimdo * English Language * Did you know...? * Prof J M L * Mexico