Outrageous, death-defying stunts are fun to watch, but for most people, its difficult to imagine the appeal of putting your life in danger for a thrill. What would drive someone to walk a tightrope across the Grand Canyon, skydive without a parachute, or intentionally almost drown? Scientists and psychologists arent sure what makes some people daredevils (the answer might lie in our genes, but this hypothesis is controversial). Some parents report noticing daredevil traits in their young kids. In fact, we all know someone whos a bit of a daredevil someone who cant seem to take no for an answer, who craves the thrill of danger, who gets antsy when theyre not taking a risk.
But the daredevils and stuntmen featured in this list go above and beyond what is normal, putting themselves in some of the most extreme, dangerous, scary situations you can imagine. Take a look.
Rick Maisel is no stranger to danger. This magician and stuntman has performed dozens of death-defying tricks throughout his 40-year career, from hanging suspended from a hot air balloon to escaping from washing machines. He originally has performed his (in)famous washing machine escape trick on the British TV show The Word. He has appeared on Americas Got Talent, The Tonight Show, and the Steve Harvey Show, performing this and other outrageous stunts. He has also been featured in Ripleys Believe it or Not.
In 2008, Britains ITV aroused controversy when it aired footage of a man performing the washing machine escape trick on its show The Worlds Got Talent. Watchdog groups felt that the show set a dangerous example for young children. It is unclear if the man they featured was Maisel or somebody else, but either way, Maisel is probably the best known washing machine escape artist alive today. He is known for performing this stunt while handcuffed and with soap in the washing machine, making it difficult for him to both move his hands, obviously, and to see.
What makes this particular stunt so outrageous and scary is not just that its incredibly dangerous, but that it uses a common, everyday object that most people use on a weekly basis: the washing machine. Theres no fire involved. Theres no crazy-long knives or swords, no extreme heights. Maisel turns this household object into what is, potentially, a death chamber.