7 Silly Daredevil Feats Attempted by Amateur Evel Knievels

I wouldn’t recommend this article if you want to read about alive people
7 Silly Daredevil Feats Attempted by Amateur Evel Knievels

To be a daredevil is to make an incredibly risky bet on you being a main character in this world. Youre doing something inherently dangerous in the hopes that some combination of math and plot armor will let you walk into the adoring audience at the end of it. After all, if everyone survived, these things wouldnt be very daring, would they? There has to be at least a decent chance that the applause youre going to hear after takeoff is from clapping angels at the pearly gates. 

Famous motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel might be the most well-known stuntman in the world, thanks to his ability to continually defy death. But these people who followed in his footsteps werent always so good at the latter part — i.e., remaining alive afterward.

Larry “Lawnchair” Walters’ Balloon Ride

Lets start with at least one guy who actually lived through his nonsense. “Lawnchair Larry,” or Larry Walters, was national news after pulling a stunt where he flew through the air on a lawnchair strapped to weather balloons. His “flight” began in 1982, and he reached a height of 16,000 feet before he popped some balloons with a pellet gun and came to a surprisingly peaceful landing, even if it was in a bunch of power lines.

Kirk Jones’ Niagara Fall

In 2003, a man named Kirk Jones survived going over Niagara Falls in nothing but normal clothes. No barrel, no nothing, except for a much-diminished impulse to stay alive. Youd think that would be enough of a feather in your cap to retire from the “jumping off stuff you shouldnt” game for life. But not for Jones. Though he cant confirm exactly what his intentions were — for exactly the reason you think — he tried once more to survive Niagara Falls, funnily enough, this time with some form of protection: a 10-foot diameter inflatable ball. The ball did nothing, and Jones died.

Karel Soucek’s Disastrous Barrel Drop

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Speaking of barrel drops, Im not sure exactly what has made the rotund little containers the vehicle of choice for someone throwing themselves off something tall, but its a thing. A thing Karel Soucek had experience with, or at least as much experience as the laws of physics will allow you before reminding you how they work. In fact, hed survived a ride off Niagara Falls himself inside one. What he didnt survive was a planned 180-foot fall in a barrel off the roof of the Astrodome into a tank of water. How did such a comparatively shorter fall finally defeat his mighty barrel? Well, instead of the water, he hit the side of the tank.

“Mad” Mike Hughes Crashes Into Earth While Trying to Prove It’s Flat

“Mad” Mike Hughes was the owner of one of the most unique occupational descriptors in history: “flat-earther rocket scientist.” Generally, a belief in flat earth is an immediate do-not-pass-go for NASA interviews, so he was left to his own devices when it came to leaving Earth. Specifically, homemade rockets. In 2020, “Mad” Mike made good on his plan to ride one of his homemade rockets almost a mile into the air in order to see for himself whether the earth was flat or not. 2020 was also the year of “Mad” Mikes untimely passing, and youre not going to believe this, but the two events were connected.

Nick Piantanida Says Forget Skydiving, I’m Going Spacediving


Every man needs a dream. For Nick Piantanida, that dream was to break the world record for the highest free fall ever recorded, one that stood at 102,800 feet up. This is a very bad dream to have, especially when youre not some sort of astronaut, but a truck driver. However, in 1966, apparently if you wanted to try something like that, you were totally allowed. It went about as well as anyone could have expected.

Robert Landeta’s Fatal Guinness Miss

Robert Landeta’s dream was to be immortalized in the Guinness Book of World Records, a book mostly seen in dentist offices. But instead of deciding to grow out his fingernails crazy long or eat a bunch of hot dogs, he decided to go for a record of “climbing five bridges in four hours” — a record Im not entirely sure is real. How many bridges did he manage to climb? Not even one: He got partway up a cable of the Brooklyn Bridge before falling 250 feet to his death.

Javad Palizbanian Learns Nothing From Knievel


Since its not controversial to say that Evel Knievel is the greatest daredevil of all time, it takes a special set of stones to try to best the stunts of the man itself. Trying to beat the stunt responsible for one of Knievel’s worst crashes, a jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium, where he crashed into the 13th bus? Even more inadvisable. Knievel eventually did pull it off with a bonus bus, his final stunt being a 14-bus jump, and that record has, shockingly, been beaten since

One man who did not beat the record was Iranian stuntman Javad Palizbanian, who died trying to jump the inadvisable number of 22 buses.

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