Video of 67 people paid to jump from a 33-feet diving tower for the first time

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“Would you jump? Or would you chicken out?”


I was on top of a 10-meter board one time with some friends, goofing around. A 20-ish woman was walking up the the front, and back again. Some people started egging her on, teasing her to “just jump.” She looked terrified. After about 5 minutes of up and back, and more teasing, she walked up to the lip, jumped off, turned two somersaults and two twists and went into the water. Turned out she was a college diver, just screwing with us. It was awesome.


Dorena Drop sucka. 50 ft cliff jutting over the lake. Got stoned with buddies and we took turns Lost Boying it over. The first and last macho shit I ever did.

My buddy climbed the tree growing off the cliff and jumped, prob about and extra 5-10ft. It was probably the most graceful thing I ever saw him do.


That was fucking beautiful. What a fantastic job.


Yet, many of these same “chickens” probably think nothing of hurtling around in combustion-powered vehicles, or agreeing to draconian terms-of-service. Humans have crazy risk-assessment faculties. We seriously need to optimise this shit.


In college introduction to psychology, we went into a lecture and there was a large frame with horizontal bars about eight feet up. The lecturer asked for 4 volunteers to hang from the bars with their hands as long as they could. They did this and eventually gave up, the last one to give up doing a lot of arm rubbing.
Then he asked for 4 more volunteers and when they were in position told them the last one to drop would be paid £20 - allowing for inflation that is several hundred $. The last one held out about three times as long as the one in the first trial.
Money trumps the minor status of winning.


I’m not 100 percent sure if I would do it or not. Probably. I’ve jumped off the rock at Waimea Bay on Oahu and we used to have a place up in Tahoe in one of the smaller side lakes we would dive off of. Of course, this was all when I was much younger. MUCH younger.


I used to do the 3 meter board when a lot younger, but somehow my fear of heights has increased a lot since then. I don’t know if I could have managed the 10 meter board then. Sure as heck not now.


Is there a North Korean at the bottom of the tower?

“Money trumps the minor status of winning.”

For the selected sample of people who made it to college and attend a psych course, anyhow.

I suspect that selection bias is why you don’t see anybody in this video just running off the end of the board and jumping. Eager risk takers either make so much money that a $30 survey is a waste of time… or are in prison. Maybe both. (Or they have already done such jumps at a young age, so are disqualified from this all-adult survey.)


Didn’t really see it depicted in the film, but I find most interesting the self-righteous non-jumper position.
“People just do this to impress their friends, I’m not that shallow.”
“Doing something scary for no reason isn’t brave, it’s impulsive.”
“Listening to your instincts makes you smart, not cowardly.”

Obviously the people who jump feel that it says something about them: that they are brave, strong, disciplined, etc. But for those who don’t jump, it simply doesn’t work to say that jumping is meaningless because the situation is so obviously, viscerally significant. So they acknowledge the significance, but invert it.

What I like about the film is that it lets us just explore the phenomenon of jumping/not jumping itself while being a little more distanced from such value judgments.


You’d have to pay me a lot more that $30 to even climb up that ladder, much less jum.


I did this once and it was quite terrifying. It seems so fucking high when you’re standing up there. I can’t imagine how you work up the nerve to do somersaults and other tricks from that height.


I have to admit. I sat mesmerized and watched the whole thing.
Don’t miss the ending. Awesome!

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I learned how to fly gliders … get towed up to 3000 feet by a plane with an engine… pull the knob that lets go of the rope and its just you and the glider for as long as you can manage to stay up (could be 20 minutes, could be hours). But I don’t think I could jump of this platform. I have a hard time jumping off the diving board.



When I was younger and stupider I climbed up to the roof of my college swimming pool, went through a skylight, and jumped from the ceiling.

But I was with a couple of other people, and someone else went first. I’m not sure I would have been able to be first.

The guy who went last twisted in the air and did a back-flop, and let out a ear-splitting yell. He wasn’t badly hurt, but rather reminded us of how dumb we were. (I had heard of other people doing it in the past, though, so I knew that in theory it was possible.)

As a younger kid I did jumps from cliffs into narrow rock pools that I would never in a million years do now, and I have no idea how my parents allowed us to do it, and I’d never let my kids do it… But I think enough has stuck in me that the 10 meter jump wouldn’t be a challenge.


Yes, yes, I know, but in the 1970s students weren’t regarded as a WEIRD* subset of humanity. I was just recounting, not applying a 21st century perspective.

  • white educated industrialised rich democracies.

Not crazy, just optimised for a hunter-gatherer existence in small groups with nothing faster than running, and a post-infant-mortality life expectancy around 45.