The 10 most insane stunts of 2014
The word "selfie" owned 2013, but it outright dominated the travel world in 2014. An astronaut took the first selfie in space; a Guinness World Record holder took a selfie in every country; and a bunch of other wackos dangled off mountains and skyscrapers to snap themselves.
But auto-photographical records were just one of the ridiculous things travelers did this past year. These are most insane stunts of 2014.
Because flying actual planes is soooo 2013, Guinness Record holder and ex-fighter pilot Yves "Jetman" Rossy and Swiss aerobatics champ Veres Zoltan donned jetpacks and chucked themselves out of a chopper in December to perform some absurd aerial tricks above the desert in Dubai.
Mountains proved too bland for French pro skier/speed-rider Valentin Delluc, so in January, he strapped on his skis, a parachute, and, apparently propelled by a death-wish, slid down the chairlift cables. He basically made Tony Hawk's Pro Skater come to life, except on a mountain and with skis.
A group of students took their self-obsession to literal new heights in August when they climbed 1,135ft to the top of Hong Kong's Centre Tower to take a group selfie, and eat bananas, King Kong-style.
In this death-defying video, pro skier Cody Townsend zooms down a nearly vertical chute in Alaska's Tordrillo Mountains, and by some miracle makes it down in one piece. Your annual ski down the bunny hills can't hold an icicle to this.
At July's Farnborough Airshow, an annual aircraft manufacturing expo in the UK, the 787-9 pulled acrobatic turns and swoops, and took off at a near-vertical angle. This plane is like the Jerome Bettis of airplanes -- things that big aren't supposed to be that agile.
Noticing a trend? Traveler Mark Laurence made hanging out on deadly mountaintops look easy, when he treaded 7,066ft up China's Mount Hua Shan on the Cliffside Plank Path -- one of the world's most dangerous footpaths -- and even leaned over the edge! Talk about a balancing act.
Two teens went to extremes to take the perfect Instagram shot in October, when they climbed to the ledge of the 1,379ft-tall 432 Park Avenue. This is all the more frightening because the haughty address remains under construction, giving you a view like what those old-timey construction workers eating lunch on I-beams used to see.
Two kayakers in Argentina got closer to nature than they bargained for when a giant whale lifted their boat off the water twice. Thankfully, they caught the once-in-a-lifetime encounter on camera. Was it a whale of a good time? Likely. But who actually uses that phrase?
Riding Mexico City's iconic 108ft-tall Montaña Rusa coaster wasn't enough for French pro motorcyclist Julien Dupont. To up the ante, Dupont rode his bike on the super-narrow, wooden tracks. Watch him whizz down the run, doing backflips and wheelies down gut-churning drops.
Well, he took it with Christ the Redeemer, actually. Lee Johnson climbed all the way to the top of Rio's 130ft-high, iconic statue this June, right as the World Cup was getting underway. Most people can't get access to the top of the statue, because, well, it's a tall statue on a mountain without safety enclosures. Lee Johnson: you are officially crazy.
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team, and wishes she could overcome her fear of heights to take a selfie eating bananas atop the Empire State Building. Follow her ground-level adventures on Instagram and Twitter @ChloePantazi.