Cats and dogs never actually fall out of the sky, so why do people still use such a strange expression when commenting on heavy rain? Probably because it won’t have as good a ring to say it’s raining boys and girls, even if 138 of them just simultaneously came down from the sky as part of the world’s newest record for most skydivers in a vertical formation.
Jumping from six planes over Ottawa, Ill. — a town approximately 80 miles outside of Chicago, the 138 skydivers beat the previous world record of 108 people. Despite the 2-minute duration of the actual stunt, it took 15 attempts over the span of three days before the skydivers were able to perfectly join hands for a snow flake formation. Divers also faced speeds of up to 220 mph and had to perform acrobatic moves on par with “doing a handstand at 7,000 feet,” as Rook Nelson, an organizer and the owner of Skydive Chicago, described to TIME.
In the video, you can see the divers jumping off the plane and seemingly maneuvering their way in the air to reach the main group. Then, you quickly realize the skydivers were performing this upside down until everyone was able to come together. The result is a colorful snow flake shape that lasts for only a few seconds before team members broke off separate ways to release their parachutes. Later that Friday evening, three judges from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale confirmed the stunt as the new world record. Almost as crazy as the recent record for a skydiver who landed with no parachute!
The skydiver team was also quite diverse, with 13 women selected for the world record breaking stunt and other team members hailing from France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and Great Britain to take part. So perhaps raining cats and dogs doesn’t make sense in this scenario, but it sure is raining men.
Watch the video below to see the actual dive and prepare to be mesmerized.