Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

new zealand, bungy jumping
Tim Clayton / Corbis

The Ledge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Modern-day bungee jumping traces its origins to 1988, when two New Zealanders, A.J. Hackett and Henry van Asch set up the first commercial jump on a bridge over the Kawarau River near Queenstown, on New Zealand's southern island. They drew inspiration from the "land divers" of Vanuatu, where men and women have jumped from tall towers — using woven vines to break their fall — for centuries. In order to draw attention to their venture, they decided to purposely misspell the name of their company Bungy, with a y, as in: "Why would you do it?"

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