The video: Gary Connery, 42, is a seasoned stuntman and action-star body double, but this week he was the main attraction, skydiving 2,400 feet from a helicopter... without a parachute. (Watch below.) The daredevil Briton landed — safely — in a 12-foot-high, 50-foot-wide pile of 18,600 cardboard boxes. He steered and slowed his ascent using a special $1,500 wing-suit, but still reached speeds of about 80 miles per hour during his 50-second-long dive. An exhilarated Connery said it was a soft landing, proving his "calculations obviously worked out — and I'm glad they did." His wife Vivian said she's mostly relieved the jump is over. "He is obviously totally bonkers."
The reaction: Connery didn't just set a new record for skydiving sans parachute, but "also, presumably, took home a gold medal in being a badass," says Colin Lecher at Popular Science. Sure, he said beforehand that he was "a bit scared," but then he, you know, "jumped from 2,400 feet without a parachute." Crazy. "It's not like he hasn't had any practice," says Anoosh Chakelian at TIME. He's done about 880 skydives over the past 20 years, and 450 base jumps, including from the Eiffel Tower and London Eye. Watch Connery make his craziest jump, from below and from above — the video from above taken by a parachuted skydiver who followed Connery:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why baseball is America's most dangerous spectator sport
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week