Discovery Explore Your World: Thrill Seekers {Book Review}

[box] Bursting with astounding facts and striking photographs, the new ‘Explore Your World’ series concentrates on only the most amazing content, from recording-breaking vehicles to the deadliest predators.

Produced in association with Discovery ChannelTM, the action-packed text, astounding facts, thrilling photography and dynamic design will inform and enthral adults and children alike.[/box]

Discovery Explore Your World: Thrill Seekers

 Published by Miles Kelly

Witness the amazing feats of daredevils as they push themselves to the limit

  • BASE jumping is so dangerous that one in every 60 jumps ends in death
  • Trapeze artists hurtle through the air at speeds of more than 60 mph
  • American Tony Benshoof holds the world luge speed record of 86.93 mph

Taking to the skies

Dropping like a stone from high-flying aircraft would be a white-knuckle, breathtaking dare for most of us.  But for some thrill seekers, ordinary skydiving is just far too dull.  Instead, they push risk to the limit, jumping fast and low, from eartbound objcts, or in tight formation.

Playing with fire

For once, your parents were right! Playing with fire really is dangerous so don’t try any of these tricks at home.  Performers who eat, breathe, and dance with fire have learned their searing skills from experts.  They risk painful burns each time they kindle the superhot acts.

Death-defying dives

For cliff divers, hitting the water is the end of the thrill, but for breath-hold and ice divers it is just the beginning.  However for participants in every form of diving sport, water is a potentially lethal hazard – capable of breaking limbs and sucking air from the lungs.

Beastly beasts

People have lived, worked, and played with wild animals for more than 30,000 years.  For most of this time, the beasts got a raw deal, mostly as entertainment for humans.  Now that animals in the wild are vanishing fast, we take better care of our savage friends – but interaction with potentially lethal creatures demands extreme caution.

Serious summits

Watch a skilled climber scale a rock all, and you’ll realize why this demanding sport has been nicknamed the ‘vertical dance’.  The elegant, graceful movements of top mountaineers are not just for show.  They conserve energy, keep the climbers balanced, and – most importantly – protect them from potentially fatal falls.

High-flying thrills

Soaring, spinning, leaping, and balancing high above the ring, circus acrobats risk deadly falls twice daily to entertain big-top audiences.  Safety nets or hamsters can break a fall, but do not completely remove the danger, and the most daring aerial artists perform without protection at alarming heights.

Blades and points

In a crowded street, a half-naked performer chops a cabbage in two with a long blade, then tips back his had and slowly eats… the sword!  There’s no trick involved – sword swallowing and other sharp-edged acts such as walking on glass are genuine feats of daring, and highly dangerous for the untrained.

Going for the record

Want to pilot the fastest human powered vehicle on land, water, or air?  Then start pedalling!  Spinning the cranks is the most efficient way to turn muscle power into movement, whether you’re on the road, in an aircraft, or in a submarine.  So between record attempts, you’ll find speed heroes out training on their bikes.

Dying to win

Which is more risky. jogging or skydiving? The answer may surprise you: traffic and other hazards mean you’re more likely to die pounding the pavement than leaping out of plane.  Even with strict rules to promote safety, top atheletes have to be super-skilled – and to have a bit of luck – to stay injury-free.

Into the earth

They are cramped, wet, cold, dangerous, and totally dark – so exactly what is attraction of cave? The thrill of venturing into truly unexplored territory is one reason why these intrepid subterranean sportsmen spend their lives – and savings – exploring the world’s deepest natural tunnels.

All at sea

Sailors and swimmers who cross the world’s deep water risk drowning, exhaustion, and loneliness.  So why do they do they? For many of them, it’s the challenge of bating a record that drives them on.  For others, it’s a way of testing themselves, or achieving a long-held personal ambition.

Risks on screen

Some moviegoers are becoming indifferent to special effects that they know are computer-generated, so many directors are turning back to old-fashioned stunts.  Now when you see a star get shot, burned, blown up, or hurled off a building, there’s a good chance that a stunt double risked their life to make the scene convincing.

Snow business

For skies who find even the most demanding routes too tame, mountaintops still have plenty to offer, though the risks are as high as the summits.  Beyond the reach of the lifts, slopes wind down through obstacles such as tress and vertical cliffs, and simple mistakes can trigger a deadly fall – or an avalanche.

Wings of victory

Air races and aerobatic teams trace their roots back over a century to the days of wire-and-canvas planes.  Today’s pilots fly high-performance jet and speed, and precision take them low over ground and water, or in tight-formation passes above the watching crowds.

Ultimate street sports

In organised – and televised – contests for street sports, judges give out points and prizes for skill, agility, and speed.  But in the street, it’s hard, unyielding materials of the sidewalk that are the real judges.  There are no second chances with concrete and tarmac, and any seasoned urban athlete has the scars to prove it.

Cheating death

To free themselves from ropes, straitjackets, chains, and prison cells, escapologists need to be fit, nimble, and skilled at picking locks and handcuffs.  The traditions of their craft date back to the 18th century, but modern escapologists have added sensational twists to their acts to bring them into the age of TV and the web.

Survival of the fittest

The world is running out of truly unexplored places – an airliner can fly to anywhere on the globe within 24 hours.  But this doesn’t spell the end of adventure, or risk.  Ice, rock, ocean, and jungle wilderness still beckon the brave, and the stories of their ordeals and narrow escapes inspire those of us who dare not to follow them.

With a RRP of just £3.99 this would make a great birthday party gift, stocking filler or a just because gift.  Available direct from Miles Kelly, Amazon or all other good book retailers.

Disclosure: We received a copy of Discovery Explore Your World: Thrill Seekers FOC for the purpose of review.

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