Not content with selfies and photos of their food, adventurous people are increasingly using miniature, rugged, wearable cameras to capture themselves taking part in extreme sports. These sorts of cameras — most famously from GoPro — are easy to mount nearly anywhere, require almost no savvy to get up and running, and always seem to find themselves in the right spot to capture amazing footage. I spent hours — literally, hours — watching GoPro videos from across the Web, and chose these 11 videos that you absolutely have to see.
11. Lions and Hyenas, Oh My!
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a human accepted by lions and hyenas in the middle of Africa? No? Well, the GoPro team did and asked Kevin Richardson to let them film his interactions with these wild animals. The result is nothing short of fascinating.
10. Hold Your Breath
Parkour — a sport in which participants run, jump, and climb random objects — is an activity that demands fearlessness. In this video, a lack of fear is not only demonstrated with the simple act (I say that with tongue-in-cheek) of climbing up the side of a building, but a monstrous jump at the end. I dare you to try not holding your breath.
9. Biking Down A Mountain
Mountain biking is a fun and exhilarating sport. Riding down steep hills in the middle of nowhere gives one a chance to escape the daily grind and reflect on life. That is, unless, you’re these guys. The hill is more like a cliff, and the reflection is only done when trying to spot the landing after a backflip.
8. Pushing The Limits
Some humans aren’t happy sitting idle and living inside a bubble. It’s safe to say Felix Baumgarnter is one such person. His jump from a capsule some 24 miles above earth and plummeting back down towards civilization at world record speeds was recorded on GoPro’s. It’s inspiring to see what we can accomplish when only we push our limits.
7. Gliding To Glory
So this is what it feels like to be a bird?
Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But neither does jumping off of a cliff. Nonetheless, thrill-seekers will do whatever it takes to get a rush. In this video, a group of BASE (building, antenna, span, earth (cliff)) jumpers travel to Norway, strap some cameras to helmets, and record various jumps. What’s most amazing is how they can glide so close to the terrain at high speeds.
6. Hey, Bring Back My Camera!
A seagull is in for a treat with it’s latest find.
Capturing the sunset in San Francisco with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance is what cameras were made for. What they weren’t made for is providing a meal to hungry sea gulls. Imagine the owner’s surprise as a bird flies up, grabs the GoPro, and flies off with a mouthful. Miraculously, the bird landed a short distance away and left the camera alone; capturing the entire event on film to be immortalized.
5. A Car Jump Gone Wrong
Here’s a view of not just an extreme jump, but the story behind preparing for it.
Most GoPro videos simply show the first-person perspective of sports an interactions we don’t get to see on a daily basis. This video not only shows what it’s like to be in a car attempting to jump further than any car in history, but the process leading up to the jump, and what happens when things go wrong.
4. Wanna Go For A Bike Ride?
Who would think a cat would enjoy riding a bike so much?
Riding your bike alone is for the birds. Or in this case, the cats. A man in Philadelphia rides his bike throughout town with his cat on his shoulder. To show just how close him and his feline friend are, he naturally records their adventures together. Surprisingly, the cat seems to really enjoy the spotlight.
3. Fireworks From A New Perspective
Fireworks from this height look a tad different.
Watching fireworks from the ground not only puts a kink in your neck, but it’s so 2013. Watching fireworks from within the detonation zone, a couple hundred feet off the ground is where it’s at.
This video was made using a drone and a GoPro camera, recording what a fireworks display looks like from the fireworks perspective. And it’s pretty darn cool.
2. Wanna Play?
Soccer in Brazil looks like a ton of fun.
In order to provide some perspective on what it’s like to live in Brazil on a daily basis, GoPro helped locals create a series of videos. This video showcases a barefoot pickup game of soccer, with kids and adults all sharing a good laugh and friendly competition.
1. Oops! I Dropped My Camera
Fall with the camera from an airplane and into a pig pen.
GoPro’s were made to withstand extreme abuse, no doubt. But withstanding a fall out of an airplane and into a pig pen is astonishing. Not only did the camera capture the fall and landing, it also captured its initial encounter with a curious pig looking for a snack. Eight months later, the owner found the camera and viewed the video to try and figure out how it wound up in her pig pen. Crazy.