Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Skydiver Whose Chutes Fail Hits Ground and Survives

When I was a kid, I had a discussion with my younger cousins wherein I argued that nothing, technically speaking, is impossible. Though somethings are highly improbable, my immature rudimentarily quantum physics–grasping mind reasoned, there is a slight possibility, however small, of every event imaginable actually happening.

They on the other hand maintained that some things are simply not possible. Their primary example was the observation that "you can't jump out of a plane and fall to the ground without a parachute and live."

I always found this example a bit disappointing. Of all the highly, highly unlikely events one might conceive of in an attempt to refute the argument put forth by thirteen-year-old me, they picked one that not only is possible but also, from time to time, actually happens. Case in point, Ms. Shayna Richardson of Joplin, Missouri:
Her main chute and her reserve failed to open properly, and she spiraled out of control, falling thousands of feet.

Her fall was caught on tape by a camera in her instructor's helmet.

She landed face-first in a parking lot and lived to tell about it.

. . . .

It's estimated Richardson was going 50 mph at impact.
Link (via Fark). Ms. Richardson was also, unbeknownst to her, two weeks pregnant at the time, and her embryo survived impact as well. Totally extreme!

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