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Today in crazy people: Climbing the Shanghai Tower and tight-roping between hot air balloons

Posted by Doug Saffir  February 13, 2014 11:22 AM

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Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, apparently. At the very least, it's good enough to make you do some things no normal person should.

Let's take a look at the evidence, shall we?

First up, Gizmodo shows us two young men presumably breaking the law by free climbing the world's second tallest building.

Not to minimize the fact that this is already an insane stunt, but the Shanghai Tower is not even complete yet, which only makes it crazier. Construction sites are not known for their stability, and yet these two guys seem totally confident climbing above the clouds to a height of over 2,000 feet. The entire viewing experience is a battle between being terrified and being impressed. Whichever you choose, watching a Youtube video at your desk has never been so exhilarating.

Of course, our second competitor is no slouch. The Guardian has the video as three acrobats tried to walk a slack line that was tied between two hot air balloons floating 10,000 feet in the air.




Now, to be fair, the acrobats had parachutes in case they fell. That seems comforting as we watch them plummet toward the earth, but remember that they're not trying to fall. They want to make it across. So while only they can say for certain what it feels like, it's hard not to imagine being struck with panic when things don't go as planned.

So, who's crazier: the guys who illegally climb to 2,000 feet with no safety net or the guys who walk a tight rope at 10,000 feet with a parachute? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

(H/T @DavidGrann)

Reach me at douglas.saffir@globe.com. Follow me @dougsaffir

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