The human appetite for risk and conquest has driven some of humankind’s greatest accomplishments. Like discovering fire. And landing on the moon. And building totemic steel structures in the sky, such as the recently completed tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalif (previously known as the Burj Dubai).
Of course, the only way humans can top building a structure like the Burj Khalif is to jump off it. And that’s exactly what seasoned base jumpers Omar Al Hegelan and Nasser Al Neyadi did this week, leaping from a height of 672 metres and free-falling for over 10 seconds then parachuting a further 30-40 seconds. The tower stands 828 metres high.
Been there, done that
While Al Hegelan and Al Neyadi might have had their moment in the sun this week, they weren’t the first men to jump from the Burj Dubai. In May 2008, an Englishman and Frenchman climbed the incomplete structure illegally and base jumped off it at the crack of dawn. The Briton had to move fast once landing to avoid capture by security. And they filmed the whole thing.
Risk and reward
Of course, base jumping isn’t all plain sailing…