The Amazing Physics of Bungee Jumping


Bungee Jumping is one of the high adrenaline rush and adventurous act which involves lot of physics and calculations.

In this act the bungee jumper jumps from a tall building or a bridge and then vertically falls down. The jumper is then pulled back after the elastic bungee cord slows down and stops. Bungee jumping is definitely extremely thrilling and a mind blowing experience and at the same time, very dangerous too! Even a small miscalculation can lead to severe injuries and death of the jumper.

Why is it called as ‘Bungee’?

‘Bungee’ means elastic rope and since this activity involved jumping off from a higher place with the help of elastic rope it got its name as ‘Bungee Jumping’.

When was this started? What is the history of Bungee Jumping?

Though bungee jumping sport came into light very recently, this act was an age old rituals performed by people of Pentecost Island in the Pacific Archipelago of Vanuatu. Men of this place would dive of the land and showcase their courage and offer their pain and injuries to God for good yields of their harvest crops.

It was in 1979, that Oxford University Dangerous sports club declared Bungee jumping as a recreational activity. In early 1990’s this sport got its popularity all over the world as most thrilling and adventurous activity. People taking part in this have told that it would give an ultimate Adrenaline rush which is an out of the world feeling.

What are the Equipments used in this act?

Use of right kind of equipments is a must for the Bungee jumping act because any small mistake or negligence can pose a very great danger to the jumper.

Here are the essentials required for performing Bungee Jumping the right and safe way.

  • Bungee cords: A bungee cord is a long elastic cord made up of one or more elastic strands which are covered by polythene sheath. These bungee cords can expand upto four times their free length.


  • Harness: Harness is an equipment that is wrapped around the body of the jumper for their safety while using ropes. It secures the person to the rope and holds the body intact without allowing it to fall apart from the rope.


  • Bungee bumper pad: It is a soft padding that protects the body from mid-air collision with the bungee cord.
  • Carabiner: It is safety line connection made up of stainless steel which links the harness and rope.


  • Jumping Platform: A jumping platform for this act can be a tall structure or building, crane or bridge. The length of bungee cord depends on the distance between platform and ground.

What is the Physics behind Bungee Jumping?


  • The Gravitational Potential energy of the jumper and the elastic potential energy of the stretched bungee cord are the two major components of Bungee jumping.
  • When the jumper of mass ‘m’ is rested on the platform, the cord will be of length ‘L’ which is not stretched. And the jumper possesses high potential energy.
  • While jumper has just jumped and the bungee cord is still relaxed i.e. it is still in the unstretched length and the jumper develops speed due to gravitational force.
  • Moving downwards with force, bungee cord stretches and the speed of jumper slows down due to upward force exerted by jumper.
  • When the maximum stretch of the cord is reached, the strong upward force acts on the body and pushes the body upwards against the gravity.
  • The average gravitational force acting on a stationary object on Earth is 1g and in acceleration it is much greater than 1g.

Top three highest Bungee Jumping spots noted till date?

  1. Royal George Bridge, Colorado, United states is said to be the highest bungee jumping spot of height 321 meters. Series of these jumping activities are daily held here.
  2. Macau Tower, China is the second largest jumping spot after the Royal George Bridge with height of 233 meters.
  3. Verzasca Dam in Switzerland is a very popular bungee jumping spot which has about 220 meters of height.

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One Response

  1. Rahul June 25, 2019

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