Kids, if I EVER catch you doing this you will be grounded for like 2 months. That means no Wii and no internet. GROUNDED.

Which one of these guys was the first to come up with this crazy idea. "I will give you 10 rubles if you jump off the building into the snow." Really though, this seems so crazy – is it even real? First assumption is that it is indeed real. However, I can do a simple video analysis just to check. (of course using the best free video analysis tool – Tracker Video)

Nice try Russian video person. You tried to make it difficult to analyze this video, and I salute your efforts. The camera really moves around quite a bit. However, I am a master of Tracker Video. Here is a plot of the vertical motion of the first jumper. This is in distance units of 1 story.

Can You Survive A Jump From A Building?

Can You Survive A Jump From A Building?

Is it real? Well, it looks like a constant acceleration of -4.86 stories/s2. If I assume this event takes place on Earth with a free-fall acceleration of -9.8 m/s2, I can determine the height of one story.

Hmmmm….Two meters that just seems impossible (it's not impossible, we used to bullseye wamprats back home and they aren't much bigger than 2 meters). No really. Ok, let me try another jump and see if I get similar accelerations.

Can You Survive A Jump From A Building?

For this jump, I get an acceleration of about -3.58 story/s2. This would put the height of a story at 2.7 meters. That seems much more likely. In the US, a story for a commercial building can be around 10 feet. However, let me do one more jump just to be sure. This last one gives a story height of 2.1 meters. Ok, I am moving on. The video is poor quality and the camera does indeed move around a bit. The acceleration is constant, so I guess that is good enough. I will go with a story height of a random 2.5 meters – that seems a little low, but oh well. This means that height of the building is around 13 meters.

Next question: can you do this? Of course you can. Remember Professor Splash? He jumped from a height of 10 meters and landed in water just 30 cm deep. It can be done. I am not going over the details – but I do have a dangerous jumping calculator page. Here I show how to determine the acceleration while landing.

Acceleration is the key to avoiding injury. According to NASA's g-tolerance tests, a person in standing position can handle about 18 g's (170 m/s2) – for very short periods. So, what kind of accelerations would these crazy Russians experience? If the building is 13 meters tall and the snow is about 1.5 meters deep, then the acceleration would be just 7.6 g's. Clearly survivable (but still don't do it).


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