Legend has it that a woman ran away from her husband one night. In such fear, she climbed up a tree to hide from the beating that she was going to receive; in anger, he followed her up the tree. To escape from him again, the woman jumped outsmarting her husband who had jumped after her. The woman tied vines to he ankles before jumping, thus creating a bungee and surviving the jump (unlike her husband). Who knew this would be the precursor to the famous sport of bungee jumping?

The Ritual

Land diving or nagol is the ancient ritual of the islanders of Pentecost Island. Young men bungee jumping (with vines) into manhood from 100-foot wooden towers; the ritual is performed from April to June, annually, and only on Saturdays.

The young men of Pentecost island spend over a month building the 5 leveled towers with sticks and branches that usually reach up to 100 feet tall. If the vines on either foot of a young man snap, he is sure to have a broken hip or collarbone. Though people visiting and on tours cannot participate in the ritual they can still watch the ritual from the sides. Sounds thrilling to wait while someone jumps, but we’re sure there may be a case of nerves for the jumper!

Pentecost Island

A wooden tower used for the ritual. Photo: Paul Stein via Wikimedia Commons

Pentecost Island

The viriginal travel destination is a mountainous tropical island in the South Pacific republic of Vanuatu. As they remain untouched by Western influences, the local traditions still hold strong. Don’t travel here if you’re looking for an all inclusive-resort type experience, but adventure lovers can make the most of this serene leafy paradise that is home to warm, welcoming people.

Early History and Todays Bungee Jumping

On the first of April, 1979, three members of the Oxford Dangerous Sport Club performed a few illegal jumps from the Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England that stood at 80 meters high. A couple of years later, A. J. Hackett and his partner Chris Sigglekow jumped off the Upper Harbour bridge in Auckland, New Zealand.

From that day in 1986, A.J. Hackett pushed bungee jumping into being a thrilling event for people to do all around the world; since then bungee jumping has evolved and become safer as well. Hackett was known for breaking some records such as being the first to bungee jump off a building, jumping off the highest suspension bridge, and even a helicopter.


Modern day bungee jumping. Photo: Gerhard Grabner via Wikimedia Commons

Bungee jumping is a daring adventure, below are some places that may interest you:

  • Verzasca Dam, Ticino, Switzerland
  • Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand
  • The Last Resort, Tatopani, Nepal

Also read:

Coasteering: 5 Exhilarating Reasons to Jump Off Cliffs in Wales

11 Things You Can Cross Off Your Bucket List in New Zealand