Gary Connery makes history as the first skydiver to land without a parachute

boxes gary connery

As human beings, we’re curious creatures and have sought ways to achieve inhuman feats, whether it’s deep-sea diving, breaking sound barriers, or flying. For the daredevils that dream of wings at night, the one feat that has been too dangerous for skydivers has been the feat of landing a jump without the use of a parachute. But it can be done, and Gary Connery has proven it. Recently, the English skydiver and stuntman became the first in the world to land without the help of a parachute.

From 2,400 feet above the earth at Temple Island Meadows, Connery leapt from a helicopter in a customized wingsuit, likened to the look of winged squirrel, and tailored particularly for this occasion. While in reality his landing would be cushioned by a 350-foot long, 50-foot wide and 12-foot high cardboard box landing strip, an extraordinary amount of preparation was required to avoid an otherwise certain death. Connery is a seasoned pro and has to his credit, over 880 skydives and 450 base jumps. He also boasts Hollywood stunt-double experience in the Indiana Jones films, Die Another Day, Batman Begins and others.

We’ve all had dreams of flapping our wings or soaring with the birds, and according to Connery his preparation had in fact been inspired by the flying habits of kite birds. His decent and landing mimicked the bird’s flight. To survive his jump, he had to slow his gliding speed to 50mph from his 80mph free fall, while slowing his vertical landing speed to a comfortable 15mph.

Humans are pushing the limits of what we’re physically capable of. James Cameron recently set the record for traveling to the deepest part of the earth in a solo dive, while later this year, Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull are preparing for his attempt to break the record for the world’s highest skydive (currently set at a whopping 102,000 feet). Connery is among these men who are looking to push our human capabilities, and while it’s crazy, you can’t help but to respect these people for their commitment to see just how far a human being can go. To an extent, they’re hacking life.

Check out the video of the jump below.


From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.