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5 Adventures That'll Make Your Stomach Drop

Bungee Jumping

Nothing says adventure like attaching your feet to a stretchy rope and jumping off a high ledge. That's the essence of bungee jumping, a sport inspired by the so-called "land divers" of Pentecost Island, a tiny outpost off the eastern coast of Australia. For centuries, these men have built wooden towers 100 feet (30 meters) high and jumped from them with fresh, elastic vines tied around their ankles. Inspired by this stunt, members of the United Kingdom's Oxford Dangerous Sports Club jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol on April 1, 1979, and the modern sport was born [source: UK Bungee Club].

Today, there are all kids of ways to enjoy this stomach-tugging adventure. For one of the most intense experiences, visit the A.J. Hackett Macau Tower in Macau, China. Here, you take the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, measuring an incredible 764 feet (233 meters) above the city below. This mega-jump will have you biting your nails before it rebounds just 100 feet (30 meters) from the ground [source: A.J. Hackett].

If that's not enough of a thrill for you, some hot air balloon companies will take you up and let you bungee jump from the basket. St. Louis, Mo.-based StL Bungy uses a 90,000-cubic-foot (2,549-cubic-meter) balloon to take jumpers 175 feet (53 meters) in the air for a 110-foot (33-meter) plunge toward the ground [source: StL Bungy].