Bungee jumping isn’t for the faint of heart, but you know what really puts you at badass status? Bungee jumping from a crudely constructed wooden tower that kisses the heavens, with nothing more than a trusty jungle vine secured around your ankles.
This might seem like something out of a Tarzan movie, but deep in the jungles of Pentecost Island on the Vanuatu archipelago of the south pacific, “land diving” is a sacred right of passage.
For centuries young men have been taking the leap of a lifetime to prove their manhood. The higher you jump and the closer to the ground you come, the more brownie points you score.
There are no nets, water, safety equipment, or your mommy there to hold your hand. It’s just a 100 ft high wooden tower and a tree vine carefully selected by a village elder. The vines must be supple with a lot of sap or else they can snap and then, well, I think you know what the outcome is.
Nowadays, land diving has become an industry on the island and curious travelers visit the Vanuatu each year to watch the highflying daredevils in person. Extreme sports enthusiasts have offered bundles of cash to dive themselves, but the islanders won’t allow it. Guess this is a good time to say: kids, don’t try this at home.