'Skywire' Live and 6 Other Death-Defying Television Stunts

On Sunday night, the world watched a man walk across a wire... over the Grand Canyon... with no harness. And he did it voluntarily. Which makes us wonder, what other death-defying, evolutionary survival instinct-defying acts have we watched on TV? (We also wondered how different the news this morning would have been if he had fallen. But that's morbid) Here's a rundown of all the times we've been reminded that this is a sick, sick world where we like to watch people do dangerous things for our entertainment.

Television's Most Daring Stunts

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On Sunday night, the world watched a man walk across a wire... over the Grand Canyon... with no harness. And he did it voluntarily. Which makes us wonder, what other death-defying, evolutionary survival instinct-defying acts have we watched on TV? (We also wondered how different the news this morning would have been if he had fallen. But that's morbid) Here's a rundown of all the times we've been reminded that this is a sick, sick world where we like to watch people do dangerous things for our entertainment.

Nik Wallenda's Skywire Walk

Why on earth someone would choose to walk across the Grand Canyon on a string is far beyond me. Why they'd do it without steel cables as thick as their torso is also beyond me, but then again I'm not descended from an entire line of tightrope walkers. Different strokes for different folks I guess?

That Time Johnny Knoxville Tasered Himself

Oh Johnny, there was no "Don't tase me bro" moment here, because Knoxville actually chose to do this on an episode of Jackass. He used a 50,000-volt Taser on himself, and in case you didn't know, Tasers cause involuntary muscle spasms, causing you to fall down spazzing out more or less. Fun!

David Blaine Encased Himself In Ice For 63 Hours

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Yes. This is real. David Blaine chilled (pun fully intended) in a box of ice for almost three days. Because, why not? After he finished his stunt, the magician was taken to the hospital and was rendered immobile for one month. But hey, anything for publicity right?

Man on Wire Between the Twin Towers

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Back in the 70s, French tightrope walker Philippe Petit did more or less what Nik Wallenda did, except between the Twin Towers. It took him 45 minutes and probably 80 years off his life. But his is one of the most well-known stunts of all time, and became the subject of the beloved (yet cringe-inducing) 2008 documentary, Man on Wire.

Alain Robert Casually Scaled a 1,483 Foot Building With No Harness

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Why is it that we like stunts so much better when there is a high likelihood of death? WEAR A FREAKING HARNESS PEOPLE! Alain Robert is a french climber who has climbed other buildings before (I mean really, who hasn't?) but his climb(s, he did it more than once) of the Petronas Towers got him thrown in jail. Some people just have no sense of humor.

Evel Knievel Jumped Snake Canyon On A Bike... And Failed

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This list would be remiss if it didn't include Evel Knievel. He attempted to jump Snake Canyon on a bike, and instead he won the Guiness Record for most broken bones. Close, but no cigar buddy.