Bungee jumping, also spelled "bungy" jumping (which is the usual spelling in New Zealand and several other countries) is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. There are many different origins of modern-day bungee jumping, including the South Pacific, England and New Zealand.
Legend has it that the very first bungee jump was done by a woman from Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. According to the legend, one of the natives was abusing his wife so she ran away away from him. She climbed a tall tree to hide, but he found her and climbed after her. While he was climbing, she tied up lianas around her ankles and in the very moment he tried to catch her, she jumped from the tree. He jumped after her, hit the ground, and died.
People from the Pentecost Islands have been bungee jumping using vines and bamboo platforms for thousands of years before the modern version was developed.
The history of modern bungee jumping started on April 1, 1979, when members of Oxford Dangerous Sport Club performed a few jumps from the 80-meter high Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England. The jump led to the birth of the sport worldwide.
The members of the Oxford DSC who made the first jump in 1979 off the Clifton Bridge were arrested for the stunt, which was illegal at the time. Although the jumpers were arrested shortly afterwards and then released on the promise they would never do it again, they continued with jumps in the US from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Royal Gorge Bridge, spreading the concept worldwide.
First Commercial Jump
The first commercial jump (done from an official site that offers jumping to the public for a fee) was in 1988. A man named A.J. Hackett took the more than 141-foot plunge from the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand.