Surfing with Dynamite

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by Gayle Young

In Copenhagen, some guys threw dynamite off a bridge to create waves large enough to surf along a river. The video is so amazing that you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing. And maybe you shouldn’t. In every episode we present bizarre stories and then let you guess: Is it real? Or a hoax? It’s easy to be fooled. Many times, real life events are incredible, but true. Other times, you’re pretty convinced, only to discover that someone is just kidding around. The ‘True or False’ segments are some of our favorite in the Amazing series.

This episode features two jaw-dropping ‘True or False’ segments along with a host of other stories that are definitely for real – like the world’s largest artificial tornado, or the guy who hand feeds sharks like they’re pigeons. We also have a story about some crows that drop nuts into a busy intersection so that passing cars will crack them open. Then, these awesomely intelligent birds will wait for the stoplight to change to red so they can snap up their food, without fear of getting hit. Some researchers argue that crows are as smart as some primates.

Video Preview: “Crow Nerds” — Some scientists claim that crows are as intelligent as apes! One look at these birds in Japan, and you might agree.


For another story we x-ray a couple of sword swallowers to see how the blades pass along their throats and into their stomachs, by-passing a half dozen crucial organs on the trip down. It pretty graphically illustrates the dangers of this ancient practice. Needless to say it’s a dying art.

Video Preview: “Sword Swallower X-Ray” — Nat Geo gives a real sword swallower an x-ray to see how close the blade comes to their vital organs.


We also went out to shoot in West Virginia, where every year base jumpers are allowed to leap off the 876-foot high New River Gorge Bridge. Base jumping is extremely dangerous. Some estimate that 1 person in 60 who attempts it will die trying. Yet every year hundreds of enthusiasts line up for a chance to defy the odds and leap from the bridge. We follow an expert named Sol as he packs his parachute and then makes the jump. He has only a few seconds to deploy his chute on the lightening-fast trip to the gorge below. It’s dangerous, but beautiful and thrilling. You can see why he does it.

Nat Geo Amazing! Bridge Jumping and Sword Swallowing premieres August 6th at 7P et/pt.