How do some people survive falls from great heights?


Several key factors influence a person’s chances of survival if they fall from a great height. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The story of a 13-year-old boy from North Dakota who survived a nearly 100-foot fall from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim startled the world in summer 2023. His case, however, is not unique. Over the years, several people have made headlines for their odds-defying survival after falls. At the extreme end of the scale — and perhaps the most famous example — is the remarkable case of Vesna Vulović, a flight attendant who survived a 33,000-foot fall from a plane without a parachute in the 1970s. 

So how is it possible to survive falls from such staggering heights?


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