Posted on April 14, 2011 by

Nine World Record Attempts That Ended in Death

Everyone’s probably picked up a Guinness Book of World Records at one point in their lives to settle a bet or maybe just to lookup some of those wacky records like the longest fly-fishing cast into a fish bowl (it’s 7 meters). But what about the world record attempts that fail? What about those that ended in the death of the person trying to break the record. Well, College Crunch has put together a list of 9 world record attempts that ended in death, all of them pretty damn spectacular.

Deep Dive — Audrey Mestre (1974-2002): It may not involve blistering speeds or months-long treks, but freediving is equally as dangerous. At the time of Mestre’s death, about 100 freedivers were dying each year out of the 5,000 around the world. Mestre, a French woman who came from a family of scuba divers and snorkelers, had spent most of her life underwater and certainly didn’t lack experience. She trusted her abilities, and therefore in 2002, had the confidence to dive 561 feet in the deep waters 81 miles east of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When she blacked out at 300 feet with an empty air tank, she was rushed back to the surface. After spending nine minutes under water without oxygen, there was nothing that could be done to save her.

Water Speed — John Cobb (1899-1952): A fur broker by day and speed demon by night — or when he wasn’t working, at least — Cobb strove to become the fastest man on earth and water. In 1939, he broke the land speed record by hitting just under 367 mph and broke it again in 1947 when he hit 394 mph. in 1952, he set out to achieve the water speed record at Loch Ness using the jet speedboat Crusader. Traveling 240 mph, it skid in the water and disintegrated. Cobb is still regarded as an English patriot for his gutsy attempts.

Motorcycle Jump — Javad Palizbanian (1961-2005): Evel Knievel famously attempted to jump 13 buses in London, and ended up suffering severe injuries and announcing his retirement afterward. In 2005, Palizbanian, an Iranian daredevil, attempted to leap over 22 buses but landed on the 13th bus, dying immediately. Prior to taking off, he announced that he was “going to break the world record and do something for my country to be proud of.” Like Mestre, he was hardly a novice. A month earlier, he successfully cleared a 51-yard-wide river on his bike.

Continue reading the full list at College Crunch.