Top 5 Most Life-Threatening Hobbies

Image credit: Rick Neves / Shutterstock.com
There are hobbies, like knitting, cooking and reading, that don’t involve any real danger. Then there are extreme hobbies, such as jumping out of a plane or leaping from a cliff, that put your life on the line. While any activity that makes your heart race and puts a rumble in your tummy can be a bit dangerous, these five hobbies are some of the most life-threatening ones out there.

5 Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is everywhere. Some theme parks have high platforms you can dive off of, while some locales allow bungee jumping from bridges or other structures. No matter how much you enjoy it though, it can come with severe consequences. An Italian couple took a tandem leap off a bridge in Rome in 2002. After taking the plunge, two snap hooks that help secure the bungee cord and safety cord, popped open. The young lovers fell to their deaths. Owner of the bungee facility Lorenzo Illuminati explained that if only one of the hooks had opened, the other one would have been able to take the strain of the force, and the couple would have probably survived. So even though this hobby includes backup safety mechanisms, they can sometimes fail.

4 Cliff Diving

Few things are as enjoyable as going on a vacation to a remote location, where you’re surrounded by nothing but crystal-clear blue waters. Why not climb up that peak and dive into the water? Even the most experienced of cliff divers and well-trained athletes run into injuries, and sometimes death, while enjoying an exotic dip in the water. In 2013, a promising young college tennis star named Alex Rovello, was out enjoying the waters of Willamette National Forest in Oregon. After climbing up a 60-foot cliff, Rovello dove into the frigid waters below. Sadly, he landed improperly – face and chest first. He never resurfaced. Because you don’t know the depth of the water, can’t see any sharp protrusions sticking out, can get blown farther out by high winds or get trapped by gushing currents, cliff diving is extraordinarily life threatening.

3 Parkour

Cats are well known for their ability to jump from high place to high place, without ever losing footing. Humans can do it, too. Parkour enthusiasts leap from rooftop to rooftop, making Spiderman-like moves seem effortless. The sport is incredibly dangerous because you typically don’t use any kind of protective gear, ropes or nets while cascading around. One of the most publicized deaths was that of Alex Leatherbarrow in 2005 in Wantage, England. Leaping across buildings, Leatherbarrow fell while attempting to make a 6-foot gap. Even if you’re lucky enough to survive this cat-like hobby, you probably won’t be unscathed. Broken bones, torn ligaments and sprains are quite common.

2 Rock Climbing

Scaling cliffs and climbing up vertical slopes are perfect equations for death—even for the most experienced extreme sports enthusiasts. In 2012, Michael J. Ybarra, a journalist who wrote about extreme sporting events, passed away while doing what he loved. While bouncing around the cliffs at Yosemite’s Sawtooth Ridge, the highly skilled climber slipped and fell roughly 200 feet, leading to his ultimate demise. Ybarra was alone and it took rescuers two days to locate his body and another day to airlift it out. Because you’re at the mercy of the rock and mother nature’s elements while you’re out there, always go with a buddy.

1 Skydiving

It shouldn’t be surprising that jumping from a plane and barreling towards the Earth at lightning speeds is dangerous. Back in the 1970s, the United States Parachute Association reported an average of nearly 43 fatalities annually from skydiving. With continued improvements in safety measures and mandatory training, the number of fatalities goes down every year. But in 2012, there were still 19 skydiving-related deaths reported. If you must take the plunge, go tandem and you’ll reduce your chances of fatality by 50 percent.

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