Six years of meticulous preparation culminated in Philippe Petit’s awesome “coup”: a tightrope walk a quarter of a mile up between the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
Known as the “artistic crime of the century”, the stunt brought the Frenchman to international stardom overnight. His mind-bogglingly daring and dangerous feat, performed in August 1974, is retold in The Walk, which is coming out on Blu-Ray™ 3D and DVD on 1 February.
Here here are some incredeble stuntsthat will also live long in daredevil notoriety
1. Human cannonball fight
The American David “The Bullet” Smith Jr’s achieved a world best, in Milan in March 2011, when he was projected out of a cannon 59.05m (193ft 8.8 in), travelling at 120.7km/h (75mph) and 23 metres high.
That length (from the cannon mouth to the furthest point reached on the safety net) is four metres longer than the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Smith has been shot out of 5,000 cannons in his career as a stuntman, having been influenced by his father, David “Cannonball” Smith Sr., “the greatest human cannonball that ever lived”, according to his inspired son.
2. Buried alive for seven days
Another person famed for endurance skills is David Blaine, the Brooklyn-born magician. His 1999 “Buried Alive” stunt – when he was entombed in a cramped plastic coffin underneath a three-ton water-filled tank for seven days – gained worldwide acclaim.
He ate nothing, drank just two to three tablespoons of water each day, and his only access to the outside world was through a hand buzzer, which would only be used in an emergency. Harry Houdini had planned a similar feat but died in 1926 before he could perform it. His niece Marie Blood said: “My uncle did some amazing things, but he could not have done this.”
3. Tightrope walking over Niagara Falls
For 125 years it was illegal to cross from Canada to the United States via Niagara Falls, so when Nik Wallenda became the first person to tightrope-walk across the waterfalls in 2012 it was significant.
With no safety net, the high-wire artist had to contend with a vertical drop of more than 165ft. Two years in the making, it took him nearly 40 minutes to reach land. He possesses six world records for his acrobatic feats. Further, as great-grandson of the late Karl Wallenda (founder of The Flying Wallendas), his family’s rich funambulist heritage continues.
4. Free climbing on burj khalifa
When it comes to solo free-climbing up buildings, there is one man who stands alone. Frenchman Alain Robert, known as Spider-Man, has made a name for scaling some of the world’s highest skyscrapers armed with nothing but chalk for his hands and wearing climbing shoes.
In March 2011, at the age of 48 he reached the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Without a harness he climbed all 828m (2,717ft) of the planet’s tallest construction.
5. Free fall from the edge of earth
While the Austrian skydiver and stuntman Felix Baumgartner gained much worldwide publicity when he jumped 39km (24 miles) in 2012 (becoming the first person to go through the sound barrier without powered help), his record was broken, in more modest fashion, in 2014 by the American Alan Eustace, a computer scientist and former Google executive – and a man not previously considered to be a daredevil.
He reached an altitude of 135,889ft (25.7 miles, 41.4km). Eustace’s descent to Earth lasted 15 minutes and stretched nearly 26 miles (42km), with peak speeds exceeding 821mph.
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