There are two reasons why you can’t just BASE jump off any old city building: firstly, it's illegal for, like, a thousand reasons, and secondly, even if illegality and self-preservation aren’t concerns for you, you'd struggle to know how to go about it. That’s because BASE jumping is a somewhat secretive world - if someone knew how or when to get around security and jump off a certain building, they'd never tell you, as they'd be both turning themselves in and handing over all their hard-earned secrets. So now that we've crushed your adrenalin junky dreams, here are five buildings you can still launch yourself off (albeit shackled to a freedom-reining cord).
1. Orlando Towers - Soweto, South Africa
This decommissioned coal power station in South Africa has been repurposed not only as one giant billboard/mural, but also a popular location for a plethora of all kinds of "jump" sports. A suspension bridge between the two towers, 328 feet above the ground, makes for an epic bungee jumping experience, but stick around and you're in for more. Since Orlando Towers isn't in an urban environment, it is possible to BASE jump, as well as bungee down into one of the cooling towers. After you've got a fresh blast of nuclear power, you'll have the radioactive strength to rap jump down the side of the tower like Spider-Man himself.
2. Sky Tower – Auckland, New Zealand
A bungee jumping purist might shrug off the Sky Tower in Auckland, but then again, a bungee jumping purist bungees off bridges - structures that don't have walls you can smash into after being caught in a slight gust of wind. Standing 629 feet off the ground, jumpers will jump from the observation deck, basically be in a free-fall for 11 seconds (reaching up to 53 mph), and come to a (hopefully) smooth landing into the Sky City plaza below, thanks to the controlled guide cable. Yes, it doesn't seem as "free" and "dangerous" as real bungee jumping, but you're jumping from a tower in one of world's greatest cities, what more do you want? Batman?
3. Stratosphere – Las Vegas
Much like the Sky Tower in Auckland, the Stratosphere offers a guided-cable free-fall from the top of the observation deck, and holds the Guinness World Record for being the highest commercial decelerator descent. Jumpers are given a short safety lesson, then suited up in custom "jump suits." Once you've made three "jump suit" puns, it's time to throw yourself off the side of the building! Yes, you get that thrill of taking the leap yourself, then plunge down a whopping 830 feet (or 108 floors) in a "controlled free-fall" before the machine slows you down for a nice controlled landing. You can jump day or night, so assuming you’re not squeezing your eyes and screaming for it to be over, you'll have a one-of-a-kind, plunge-tastic view of the Las Vegas Strip.
4. Macau Tower - Special Administrative Region, China
Macau Tower may be the eleventh tallest building in the world, but it’s the second tallest bungee jump in the world, reigning in at 760 feet. Though not a bridge, people are allowed to bungee jump from the tower's outer rim and enjoy an unadulterated free-fall for roughly six seconds. If you don't trust the wind, the tower offers a controlled "skyjump," that at 764 feet, leaves it second only to Vegas's Stratosphere. But you didn't come all the way to China to be controlled by some machine, you came to conquer gravity itself! Some reports state that in the right conditions, jumpers can find themselves staring at the ground just 98 feet away - or in extremely obscure length measurements, that puts you roughly 14 Shaquille O'Neals from hitting the cold, unforgiving Chinese ground.
5. Alta Vila Tower – Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Based in the picturesque mountain-surrounded town of Belo Horizonte, the Alta Vila Tower attracts adrenaline junkies and sightseers alike. Unlike their sight seeing counterparts, though, the adrenaline junkies don't stand in awe of nature’s majesty - they just want to jump off some stuff, and Alta Vila Tower has such an edge. Standing 233 feet above ground puts Alta Vila on the list of highest bungee jumps. It's not quite as high as the Macau Tower, but if for some backwards, semi-ironic reason "jumping off several buildings" is on your bucket list, Alta Vila Tower is one you should definitely have on there.
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