Deadly science of falling – experts reveal shocking impact on human body and world’s most dangerous drops

FALLS is not a scientific process.

What’s safe for a trained stuntman is not the same for a grandparent – but there is a threshold where just about all falls become fatal.


High falls are dangerous and should never be attempted.

You will immediately feel the fear of falling if your back is too far from the seat.

There is reason behind human instinct – falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Falling from short distances (e.g. ladders or low scaffolds) can prove fatal.

On the flip, there are validated stories of people falling from planes and surviving – so, what’s in a fall?

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Who’s falling?

Two groups are most at risk from injury or death in a fall: children under 15-years-old and seniors over 65.

Kids’ curiosity about their environment and bodies drives them to discover dangers that may be hidden from them.

Meanwhile, elderly people have a much more physiological reason for being injured by a fall – they lack the agility to react and the bone density to support their weight when they do hit the ground.


The height of a building is measured in stories. A storey is approximately 12-14 feet high.

All falls pose risk, even just from a standing position – but falls greater than one story are of especially serious concern, not to mention traumatic for any witnesses.

Four-story falls – about 48 feet – have a mortality rate of 50%.

Increasing the height naturally has an inverse relationship with the likelihood of survival – you have just a 10% chance of surviving a seven-story fall.

In 2005, a Paris study found that the number of falls in France was. Eight stories and more were 100% fatal.

“Most people who fall from a height die because they fracture their spine near the top and so transect the aorta which carries blood out of the heart,” a trauma expert told The Guardian.


Brett Pritt, licensed physical therapist and site administrator scienceoffalling.comAccording to The Sun’s, agility landing is the key to avoiding injury after a fall.

Pritt recommends that anyone coming to land be allowed to stay as long as possible “disperse the force of the fall over the largest amount of time along the most amount of the body tissue that you can,”With a controlled squat, roll and incline.

This technique is used regularly by Parkour athletes who jump from high places.

However, this requires special training and years’ of practice. You should never intentionally fall – even skilled parkour professionals can be injured or die while jumping.

Let’s face it, it’s not all about where you land, but also what you land on.

The landing area

Your landing strategy will be greatly affected by the surface you land on. This will impact your survival chances.

Alan Magee was a World War 2 pilot who miraculously survived a 22,000 fall over Germany – he landed on a glass roof, which absorbed some of the energy of his fall as it shattered.

Glass planes are less common than asphalt and bodies of water.

On rigid surfaces, luck becomes a big factor – and your state of consciousness.

One man survived being tossed more than 1,300 feet in a tornado. His body was not affected by the shock and he did not get tightened up when he dropped to the field.

“If you’re falling from those nightmare fall heights, you kind of want to go as limp as possible and just hope for the best,”Pritt spoke to The Sun.

For water landings, “try to make yourself as streamlined as possible, like a bullet,” Pritt said. “[Point] your toes down and just try to cut through the water so that there isn’t as much impact.”

Nine lives

Cats are known for being agile and able to land on their feet even when they fall from 32 stories.

InsiderA study that showed cats suffer less serious injuries when they fall from a height was reported. MoreThere are more than seven stories.

It’s counterintuitive – how can cats be at less risk when falling greater distances?

They have nine lives, but it’s not because of that. It’s a combination of intuitions and physics.

Terminal velocity – when air resistance nullifies the effects of gravity – is a scientific component of all objects falling through air, liquid or other matter.

After a falling object reaches terminal velocity, it will cease to gain speed during its descent.

When they fall from short to medium heights, cats attempt to land on the ground. However, at terminal velocity their legs are stretched out. “like a parachuter.”

Higher distances give the cat more time for reaction and to soften landing.

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Access to emergency treatment will be a key factor in your survival from a fall from extremely high altitudes.

There are many factors that influence the outcome of any fall. However, luck may be the most significant.

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