So, if you happened to walk past a TV or computer screen yesterday, there’s a good chance that you saw a dude named Felix Baumgartner climbing out of a balloon capsule 24 miles above the Earth’s surface and then…jumping. The sight of Baumgartner standing at the edge of space, with the curvature of the Earth clearly visible in the background, and then diving downward is jaw dropping enough in and of itself. The only thing that might be a more impressive view of Baumgartner’s jump? This footage was reportedly taken from a camera mounted to Baumgartner himself, and it captures some of the most hair-raising moments from the jump: when the diver went into an uncontrollable spin that could very well have been the death of him if he hadn’t recovered. If you’ve got a fear of heights…you probably don’t want to watch this at all, but definitely don’t blow it up to full screen.
Here’s how Baumgartner himself described the stomach-churning spin:
The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
Assuming you’ve made it this far without sprinting to the bathroom or vomiting all over your screen, the Daily Mail has some great pictures of Baumgartner’s preparations and descent. We presume Baumgartner is currently out there arm wrestling the Most Interesting Man in the World or something equally manly.