He is no stranger to the power of the ocean, having made his name by recreating the sinking of the Titanic to spectacular effect. But James Cameron has admitted to moments of dread in the lead up to his latest marine adventure - which saw him become the first lone human to reach the deepest realm of the Earth's oceans.
The director relives his record-breaking journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench inside a '43-inch diameter steel ball' in next month's National Geographic magazine.
Murky depths: A panel of LED lights illuminates the ocean floor during a further test dive off the Ulithi Atoll in the Pacific
'Childlike excitement': The Titanic director, seen monitoring the systems inside the pilot's sphere, told National Geographic the sub felt 'snug and comforting'
After years of research, planning and preparation, Cameron completed the deepest solo dive ever made in his futuristic submersible Deepsea Challenger last year.
Seven miles beneath the surface of the western Pacific, the Mariana Trench is deeper than Mount Everest is high. The director described the weeks spent imagining 'all the things that could go wrong' before the descent, but said that on the day of the dive his apprehension was replaced by 'childlike excitement'.
'The pilot’s chamber is a 43-inch-diameter steel ball, and I’m packed into it like a walnut in its shell' - Cameron recounts his historic dive
'...my knees pushed up in a hunched sitting position, my head pressed down by the curve of the hull. I’ll be locked in this position for the next eight hours.'
'I won’t say there hasn’t been dread in the past few weeks, thinking about all the things that could go wrong. But right now I feel surprisingly calm.'
'I am wrapped in the sub, a part of it and it a part of me, an extension of my ideas and dreams.'
'After weeks of pilot training, my hand goes to a specific control or switch without thinking. There’s no apprehension at this point, only determination to do what we came out here for, and childlike excitement for what’s ahead.'
The cramped pilot's chamber, into which he was crammed 'like a walnut in its shell', was not claustrophobic, but 'snug and comforting', Cameron writes in the magazine.
'I feel surprisingly calm. I am wrapped in the sub, a part of it and it a part of me, an extension of my ideas and dreams,' the director said of the day of the dive.
'As co-designer, I know its every function and foible intimately.
'There's no apprehension at this point, only determination to do what we came out here for, and childlike excitement for what's ahead.'
Cameron spent about three hours at the bottom of the ocean off the island of Guam, the deepest-known part of any ocean in the world.
He shot some 3-D video during the dive, but admitted afterwards it was difficult to see much in the murky depths from his vantage point inside Deepsea Challenger.
The futuristic electric green submersible was launched off the Mermaid Sapphire in the western Pacific in March 2012.
The Avatar director revealed he cut the mission three hours short after hydraulic fluid started leaking into his sub. The 57-year-old described it as ‘a heck of a ride.’
Cameron planned to spend seven hours under water but decided to head back up after spotting the leak.
‘I saw a lot of hydraulic oil come up in front of the port. The port was coated with it. I couldn’t pick anything up so I began to feel like it was a moment of diminishing returns to go on,’ he explained.
‘I lost a lot of thrusters. I lost the whole starboard side. That’s when I decided to come up. I couldn’t go any further - I was just spinning in a circle,’ he added.
‘It was bleak. It looked like the moon. I didn’t see a fish. I didn’t see anything that looked alive to me, other than a few shrimplike amphipods in the water.'
He also realised how alone he was, with that much water above him.
‘It's really the sense of isolation, more than anything, realising how tiny you are down in this big vast black unknown and unexplored place,’ Cameron said.
Cameron said he had hoped to see some strange deep sea monster like a creature that would excite the storyteller in him and seem like out of his movies, but he didn't.
He didn't see tracks of animals on the sea floor as he did when he dove more than five miles deep weeks ago. All he saw were voracious shrimp-like critters that weren't bigger than an inch.
But that was okay, he said, it was all about exploration, science and discovery. He is the only person to dive there solo, using a sub he helped design. He is the first person to reach that depth - 35,576 feet - since it was initially explored in 1960.
Cover star: The full article appears in the June issue of National Geographic
He spent more than three hours at the bottom, longer than the 20 minutes Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard spent in the only other visit 52 years ago. But it was less than the six hours he had hoped. He said he would return.
‘I see this as the beginning,’ Cameron said. ‘It's not a one-time deal and then moving on. This is the beginning of opening up this new frontier.’
‘To me, the story is in the people in their quest and curiosity and their attempt to understand,’ Cameron said.
His return aboard his 12-ton, lime-green sub called Deepsea Challenger was a ‘faster-than-expected 70-minute ascent,’ according to National Geographic, which sponsored the expedition. Cameron is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.
The only thing that went wrong was the hydraulics on the system to collect rocks and critters to bring them back to land. Just as he was about to collect his first sample, a leak in the hydraulic fluid sprayed into the water and he couldn't bring anything back.
When Cameron climbed into his sub, it was warm because it was near the equator and his cramped vehicle - his head hit one end and his feet the other - was toasty because of the heat given off by electronics. It felt ‘like a sauna’ with temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, he said.
But as he plunged into the deep, the temperature outside the sub dropped to around 36 degrees, he said.
The pressure on the sub was immense - comparable to three SUVs resting on a toe. The super-strong sub shrank three inches under that pressure, Cameron said.
‘It's a very weird environment,’ Cameron said. ‘I can't say it's very comfortable. And you can't stretch out.’
Cameron gave two thumbs up when he triumphantly resurfaced.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared in Cameron's Terminator films, showed his support for the director via Twitter. 'Congrats to my great friend on the deepest solo dive ever. Always a pioneer'.
Richard Branson and Jessica Alba were just a couple of the other celebrities who got behind Cameron's journey.
The scale of the trench is hard to grasp - it is 120 times larger than the Grand Canyon and more than a mile deeper than Mount Everest is tall.
The film director has been an oceanography enthusiast since childhood and has made 72 deep-sea submersible dives.
Thirty-three of those dives have been to the wreckage of the Titanic, the subject of his 1997 hit film.
The following is an extract from the full article by James Cameron, which appears in the June issue of National Geographic:
The pilot’s chamber is a 43-inch-diameter steel ball, and I’m packed into it like a walnut in its shell, my knees pushed up in a hunched sitting position, my head pressed down by the curve of the hull. I’ll be locked in this position for the next eight hours. My bare feet rest on the 400-pound steel hatch, locked shut from the outside. I’m literally bolted in.
People always ask me if I get claustrophobic in the sub. To me it just feels snug and comforting. My visual field is filled by four video screens, three showing views from the external cameras, one a touch screen instrument panel.
The sub, painted electric green, is hanging upright in the swells like a vertical torpedo aimed at the center of the Earth. I tilt my 3-D camera, out on the end of its six-foot boom, to look up the face of the sub. The divers are getting into position to release the buoyant lift bag attached to the sub, holding it at the surface.
I’ve had years to contemplate this moment, and I won’t say there hasn’t been dread in the past few weeks, thinking about all the things that could go wrong. But right now I feel surprisingly calm. I am wrapped in the sub, a part of it and it a part of me, an extension of my ideas and dreams.
As co-designer, I know its every function and foible intimately. After weeks of pilot training, my hand goes to a specific control or switch without thinking. There’s no apprehension at this point, only determination to do what we came out here for, and childlike excitement for what’s ahead.
Challenge: Launched from the Mermaid Sapphire, the futuristic sub relies on 180 different systems, from battery packs to sonar
Into the blue: Director James Cameron took his futuristic submersible - christened Deepsea Challenger - for a test dive off Papua New Guinea to see if it could survive the crushing pressure at the depths of the ocean
Record: The director became the first person to reach the deepest point of the Earth's oceans alone in his Deepsea Challenger, seen on the Mermaid Sapphire
Success: James Cameron gives two thumbs-up as he emerges from the Deepsea Challenger today after his successful solo dive in the Mariana Trench
Cameron's dive took him to a part of the ocean no one has visited for 50 years - and he is the only human being to have travelled and returned solo
James Cameron emerging from the hatch of Deepsea Challenger - the tiny submarine the director will use to travel to the bottom of the Pacific's Mariana trench
Race is on: James Cameron's team tested the Deepsea Challenger in the ocean at Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, Australia before he set off
Moment of truth: Deepsea Challenger carrying Carmon is hoisted into the Pacific Ocean on its way to the bottom of the Mariana Trench
The Red Bull Illume Image Quest is a specialist contest showcasing and celebrating the very best in photography of extreme sports from around the globe. At the end of the month the top 50 finalists will be invited to attend a grand ceremony in Hong Kong where the winners will be unveiled
The world of action and adventure sports certainly isn’t for the fainthearted but if this stunning collections of photographs is anything to go by then the reward for such bravery is often to witness scenes of epic beauty.
The Red Bull Illume Image Quest is a specialist contest showcasing and celebrating the very best in photography of extreme sports from around the globe.
Its purpose is to showcase the most exciting and creative action sports photography on the planet as art and introduce these action sports to a wider public.
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Man versus the elements: One of the stunning collection of images submitted for the 2013 Red Bull Illume Image Quest photo contest
Dicing with danger: The world of action and adventure sports certainly isn¿t for the fainthearted but if this stunning collections of photographs is anything to go by then the reward for such bravery is often to witness scenes of epic beauty
Devil may care: The Red Bull Illume Image Quest is a specialist contest showcasing and celebrating the very best in photography of extreme sports from around the globe
Going to extremes: The competition's purpose is to showcase the most exciting and creative action sports photography on the planet as art and introduce these action sports to a wider public
Submissions for the third edition of the competition, it had previously taken place in 2007 and 2010, were submitted between last December and the end of April.
Tens of thousands of entries were whittled down to a top 250 by a committee of international judges and photo editors from renowned publications. Photographs from every adventure sports imaginable are featured including swimmers, surfers, cyclists, snowboarders, skateboarders, skiers, canoeists and climbers
The contest has 10 different categories: Close Up, Creativity, Energy, Experimental, Illumination, Lifestyle, Playground, Sequence, Spirit, and Wings.
Over the edge: Submissions for the third edition of the competition, it had previously taken place in 2007 and 2010, were submitted between last December and the end of April
Daredevils: The contest has 10 different categories: Close Up, Creativity, Energy, Experimental, Illumination, Lifestyle, Playground, Sequence, Spirit, and Wings
Thrill seeker: Tens of thousands of entries were whittled down to a top 250 by a committee of international judges and photo editors from renowned publications
At the end of this month, the top 50 Red Bull Illume finalists will be invited to attend a grand ceremony in Hong Kong where the winners will be unveiled.
Once the winners have been announced these 50 finalist images then travel around the world as a unique and stand-alone photo exhibition. To showcase the illumination, the exhibitions always open at night-time only.
Take a look at this stunning selection, if the daredevil exploits on show don’t take your breath away, then the stunning scenery and the skill of the photographers will.
The photos range from the awe-inspiring to the exquisitely artistic with cool shadows and unique perspectives.
Each photograph represent an ‘extremely’ unique view of an action or adventure sport that should inspire you to push your own limits either as a photographer and as a sportsman (or sportswoman).
Breath-taking: At the end of August the top 50 Red Bull Illume finalists will be invited to attend a grand ceremony in Hong Kong where the winners will be unveiled
Extreme thrills: Once the winners have been announced these 50 finalist images then travel around the world as a unique and stand-alone photo exhibition. To showcase the illumination, the exhibitions always open at night-time only
Mad, bad and dangerous to know: Take a look at this stunning selection, if the daredevil exploits on show don¿t take your breath away, then the stunning scenery and the skill of the photographers will
Extreme thrills: The photos range from the awe-inspiring to the exquisitely artistic with cool shadows and unique perspectives
All time high: Each photograph represent an ‘extremely’ unique view of an action or adventure sport that should inspire you to push your own limits either as a photographer and as a sportsman (or sportswoman)
A legendary Laguna Beach mansion which spills over the edge of a cliff
The Villa Rockledge was built in 1918 by architect Arthur Benson, at the behest of hotelier Frank Miller, who continuously expanded the property until his death in 1935. It had been previously listed for $34.5 million.
On the market: Bidding opens at $10.5 for this the legendary Villa Rockledge
Bargain: The houses price has tumbled from a $34.5M original listing
Legend: The house was built under the eye of hotelier Frank Miller, who used the 8,000-square-foot oceanfront house as a summer home
Getaway: Miller used the 8,000-square-foot oceanfront house as a summer home
The house sat dormant for nearly four decades until electronic parts salesman Roger Jones bought it in 1973 for just $420K.
The 8,000-square-foot oceanfront house now has an astonishing 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
Jones and his wife Sherill have painstakingly restored the classic property to it current, beautiful condition.
In progress: Miller kept expanding the villa until his death in 1935
New again: For four decades electronic parts salesman Roger Jones has painstakingly restored the classic manse
Restoration: Roger Jones came along in 1973 and snapped the place up for $420K
The compound is made up of a humongous 5,000-square-foot house.
The main house is joined to six private villas by a meandering pathways, and a small tower leads the way from the main house down.
All of which the owner can reflect on while sunning himself on his private beach.
There's even parking for 12 of your favorites cars.
The property has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984.
See it: The Villa Rockledge is known for its legendary views
Edge of the world: The prominent mansion spills over the edge of a cliff on the west side of the highway
Location: One of the major attractions of Villa Rockledge are the gorgeous beaches beneath it
Breeze: Meals in this Villa Rockledge room are accompanied with the sounds of the ocean
Entertainment: Your guests wouldn't have to look far for something to pass the time
VIDEO : Estate agent offers interested parties a glorious video tour of the home
It must be the ultimate infinity pool for thrill seekers - this natural swimming hole teeters on the lip of one of the world's biggest and most dangerous waterfalls.
As millions of gallons of water plunge over the lip of Zambia's Victoria Falls, bathers can dive into the Devil's Pool and swim right up to the edge. A rock ledge even allows the bravest to peer into the abyss 360 feet below.
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No fear: Tourists can use the pool between the months of September and December
Living on the edge: One thrill-seeker is brave enough to stand on the ledge above the falls. Between September and December every year - the end of the dry season - tourists can leap into the pool on the Zambezi River from nearby rocks. Although by all accounts, it takes a while to build up enough courage to take the plunge for the first time. Hardy tourists have to trek for up to an hour in sweltering temperatures to reach the swimming pool. And if they don't want to jump in they have to wade through testing currents of water to get to the rocky pool.
Needless to say, if they lost their foot they would be seconds away from plunging to their deaths.
The Victoria falls, on the boarder of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is the world's largest waterfall and this picture shows just how close to the edge the swimmers go
Software engineer Francisc Stugren, 35, and his wife Angela, 30, visited the falls to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
The American insisted the thrill was "better than bungee jumping".
He said: "Being in the Devil's Pool is a serious adrenaline rush for the first few minutes.
"The thought that you may get sucked away from the relatively calm waters of the pool and down the foamy hell into the pit makes you giddy with apprehension, although you have to stray far out quite a bit for that to happen.
"If you jump in it adds up to the excitement but you can also get in gently.
Thrilling: A holidaymaker leans right over the edge to get the ultimate photograph of the falls
Look! No hands: It's all smiles for this daredevil tourist as he leans over the edge
"It's great fun - some people enjoy it quietly, swimming, looking and thinking, while others just keep screaming."
Victoria Falls, on the boarder of Zambia and Zimbabwe is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or 'The Smoke that Thunders', in the Kololo or Lozi languages. It is not among the highest waterfalls in the world, but is at about a mile across it is one of the widest. It is fed by the Zambezi River, which plummets over the drop and creates an incredible spectacle when seen from downstream. Guides now offer to lead tourists to the pool but only during the dry season when the river is low and the risk of being swept over the edge is lower. The question on everyone's lips, however, is who was the first brave soul to take the plunge?
The ultimate swimming experience is popular with tourists visiting the falls
Hold on dad: A father and his son enjoy the Devil's Pool
A jet-powered surf board that is capable of crossing the English Channel in just 30 minutes is set to spark a new craze amongst watersports enthusiasts. The new Jetsurf board is a cross between a surf board and a jet-ski and can reach speeds of 40mph. The flat carbon fibre board has a 100cc engine attached to the back of it and the user stands up and uses their body weight to steer it from side to side like a surfer would.
The new £7,000 Jetsurf board can travel at speeds of up to 40mph and can go full throttle for an hour-and-a-half, due to a 100cc in built two-stroke engine and 2.5 litre fuel tank. To power its way through the water the craft has a two-stroke engine and a miniature water jet. The craft sucks in water from the front and shoots it out behind, helping it to build up speed very quickly. An electronic leash which is attached to the surfer's wrist acts as both a throttle and an emergency kill-cord. It weighs 27lbs andcan be carried down to the beach under a surfer's arm. It has been developed by the company jet-surf.com and the company is struggling to keep up with demand for the 7,000 pounds product. The developers say it is more similar in spirit to a snowboard rather than a surf board or jet-ski.
The Jetsurf was developed by jet-surf.com, and the company is struggling to keep up with demand for the £7,000 product.
Ben Gibson, one of the designers of the Jetsurf. Ben Gibson, a technician at jet-surf.com who developed the device, said: 'It has a 100cc combustion engine inside it which has 2.5 litres of fuel. 'That gives you about an 90 minutes on full throttle or over two hours if you are taking it a little easier. 'It handles like a surf board and the weight of it isn't much more than a kite board or a surf board. 'It has a trigger accelerator just like a motorbike. 'Out of all the sports out there it is actually closest to snowboarding, as you are not getting pulled around or waiting for waves like on a surf board. 'It was eight years in development and it is already becoming a sport in its own right with two races a year.
A 100cc in built two-stroke engine and 2.5 litre fuel tank powers the board
The new jet-powered surf board is capable of crossing the English Channel. 'We've had one in Russia and one in the Czech Republic already. 'We make 20 boards a month, all handmade, and constantly have a waiting list for them. 'We sell them all over the world and the place they are most popular at the moment is Russia.' Motorised surfboards are not a new concept and have been around in some form since the early 1960s. The Jetsurf is different because of its size, weight and power. With a range of almost 50 miles it can be taken on longer rides and the custom designed carbon fibre hull allows the rider to take on big swells as well as calm flat water.
The new jet-powered surf board capable of crossing the English Channel in just half an hour is set to spark a new craze amongst water sports enthusiasts.
Walking in the air! World's 'scariest' and highest suspension bridge opens 1,5000ft above a glacier in the Swiss Alps
The world's scariest bridge has been opened - a pedestrian walkway suspended 1,500ft above a glacier in the Swiss Alps.
Engineers have spent the past five months building the Titlis Cliff Walk, Europe's highest suspension bridge at 9,000ft above sea level.
The structure, which cost £1 million, is 330ft long but just 3ft wide and sits a vertigo-inducing 1,500ft above a glacier.
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High-rise: The bridge is certainly a daring expedition to take for those thrill seekers
Up for the challenge? The scariest bridge in the world - a pedestrian walkway suspended 1,500ft above a glacier in the Swiss Alps
What a sight: Visitors to the suspension bridge admire the view, 1,500ft above a glacier. And on its grand opening a huge snow storm reduced visibility to just a few feet - leaving visitors with no idea of what lay beneath them. The impressive bridge on Mount Titlis was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of a cableway which joined the towns of Engelberg and Gerschnialp in January 1913. Construction work was an extreme challenge for engineers, with working hours determined by the weather conditions. Peter Reinle, from Titlis Cable Cars, said: 'Everyone was very impressed by the bridge. 'It opened in a real snow storm which made it an adventure for everyone who crossed it.'
Swiss delight: Highest suspension bridge in Europe, in Switzerland, at the top of Titlis at an altitude of 3238 meters above sea level
Hard work: Engineers have spent the past five months building the Titlis Cliff Walk
Not an easy task: It can't have been easy for the builders erecting the bridge.
This young couple are perched only inches away from an eight hundred feet fall.
The pair had carefully crawled right to the edge of Australian landmark 'Hanging Rock', where the sandstone is only a foot wide.
Photographer Michael Matthews was amazed to see the duo so far out on the narrow rock formation, overlooking the Grose River Gorge in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
High risk: This young couple are perched only inches away from an eight hundred feet fall. The pair had crawled to the edge of Australian landmark 'Hanging Rock', where the sandstone is only about a foot wide
He said: 'They were on the end of the rock for about 5 minutes.
'They even had a hug and a kiss out there, but were being extremely careful.'
Mr Matthews, 54, had driven from his home in Sydney, having seen an image of the Hanging Rock on a postage stamp.
He said: 'I decided that I had to see it for myself.
'It was a two hour drive from my home followed by an hour's walk from the car park.
'Because of the obvious dangers of this area, it is not highly advertised. There were no signposts pointing to where it was'.
Mr Matthews reached a viewpoint known as 'Baltzers Lookout' but still couldn't see Hanging Rock.
He said: 'I felt quite vulnerable up there. There were no fences and a wind was blowing.
Long drop: Photographer Michael Matthews was amazed to see the duo so far out on the narrow rock formation, overlooking the Grose River Gorge in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales
'I felt it would be easy to get blown off the cliff if you got too close to the edge.
'I felt so uneasy that I almost left without seeing the Rock but I persevered and managed to go to the end of the lookout.
'I carefully clambered down and Hanging Rock came into view.
'Once down there, on the same level of the Rock, I couldn't get any closer than a foot from the edge of the cliff without risking a major panic attack.
'It was impossible to see the very bottom of the formation, but I know it stretches down for about eight hundred feet.'
'I noticed the couple when I glanced up suddenly. They must have jumped on to the top.
'I panicked, especially as they got so close to the narrowest end.
Great view: Mr Matthews, 54, had driven from his home in Sydney, having seen an image of the Hanging Rock on a postage stamp and vowed to track it down
'The end of the rock where the man is sitting would only be about about a foot wide. It was too narrow for them to sit side by side.
'I had a sickly feeling in my stomach and a real fear of seeing them fall. They would never have survived the drop.
'They had a hug and a kiss. The girl was moving very slowly and carefully around the small tree near the end.
'Obviously they had no thought of the rock collapsing'.
Mr Matthews carried on taking snaps of the scene before the couple carefully make their way back to the wider section of Hanging Rock, where they stopped for a picnic.
'I couldn't help thinking of the 1975 hit film 'Picnic At Hanging Rock', but that was actually filmed in Victoria,' said Mr Matthews.
'That's about a thousand kilometres away from here and not nearly as interesting!'
The film relates the story of the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic to Hanging Rock on St. Valentine's Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.
With its dramatic view of the waves crashing below, the aptly-named Cliffe Close was fisherman Derek Crook's ideal home.
But 22 years later, the North Sea has come a little too close for comfort.
So close, in fact, that his kitchen extension is hanging over the edge of a terrifying 50ft drop.
2007: Mr Crook has moved into a caravan yards away and his kitchen is about to tumble
Coastal erosion has left the divorcee's beloved two-bedroom bungalow on the point of being swallowed up by the sea. In a safer spot it would be valued at £150,000, but it is now worthless.
In 1985, when he moved in, the property at Tunstall, near Withernsea, East Yorkshire, was more than 90ft from the cliff face
A large collection of huts, outbuildings and storage sheds filled the landscape. But aerial photographs taken over the years show how the land has vanished beneath his feet.
1986: Shortly after Mr Crook moved in, his kitchen at the rear was 90ft from the edge
At first, the erosion was relatively slow because of the large amount of sand between the sea and the base of the cliff.
By 1997, 20ft of land had been lost to the sea but with no sand left to prevent the waves from hitting the cliff, the erosion in the last ten years has increased at an alarming rate and by 2003 a further 40ft of land had disappeared.
Now, with the surf rolling in just below his back door and the kitchen almost gone, the 67-yearold father of one has been forced to leave for good.
Seven years later, the cliff had eroded so quickly that only a 30ft gap remained
But instead of fleeing to a property safe from the sea's effects, he has merely moved to a caravan a little further from the edge.
"When people buy a house on the coast they know that it will eventually be taken by the sea but the life is so good you have to take the chance," he said.
"If you get 20 years out of it you know it's been worth it.
"If this house was in California on the coastline it would be worth £3million."
He fears the property will eventually disappear in the next three years, followed by the land on which the caravan stands. And he intends to savour every moment.
"I'm not concerned about what the future holds," he said. "I'm just grateful to have a couple of more years here."
Scaling a 1,000ft building takes a lot of courage and skill. Add breaking and entering, mapping CCTV systems, hiding from Russian security guards and you have a mission bordering on insanity. Mercury City Tower, an office and residential building in central Moscow, Russian, is set to be the tallest building in Europe - once it is finished. Using a plan fit for Mission Impossible, a team of Russian daredevils braved violent guards, cameras and the freezing cold to climb 1,214ft to tip of a construction crane on top of the building.
Mission accomplished: A team of adrenaline hunters illegally scaled Europe's tallest building - the the 1,110ft Mercury City Tower in Moscow - to climb atop a construction crane on its unfinished roof
Mercury City is in its final stages and the construction site is protected by a multi-level security system which includes cameras, motion detectors and guards, not to mention the 'real-life anthill' of construction workers who, according to climber Vitaliy Raskalov, will not only ring the alarm but also 'beat you up really badly'. 'There is no legal way for regular guys to get upstairs', says roof climber Raskalov as he unveils the plan.
In their mission to conquer Mercury City, Raskalov and his four team members had been watching the site for weeks, resulting in a perfect plan to avoid detection. The group mapped all the security camera system's blind spots as well as worked out the walking paths of the security guards.
On cloud nine: The group managed to get all the way to the tip of the crane seen at the top of the unfinished Mercury City Tower skyscraper
View from the top: The group on their way up the 75 story building
Worth the risk: Vitaliy Ruskalov tells the camera about their well-planned mission to scale Europe's tallest building
Following their plan, the crew sneak inside the building site dressed as construction workers and are forced to hide behind corners from patrolling security before climbing up 75 flights of stairs to get to the top floor.
But for Mr Raskalov and his friends that was never going to be enough. Determined to reach higher than anyone before them, they had their eyes set on the dangerously unstable construction crane on top of the building, adding another 104ft to their climb.
Deemed a mission too dangerous whilst the crane is in operation, the team have to wait until mid-day for the construction workers’ switchover to finish their illegal heist.
‘We have five minutes to do what we planned’, says Raskalov, adding that the mission is near impossible considering that there are five members of the team who all need to crawl to the end of the ice-covered crane before the next worker arrives.
Wuthering heights: The crane is so high up it is hidden among the clouds, making the climb even more difficult for the team
Looking down: A team member is near the top of the construction crane 1,214ft above ground
Cold conditions: Moscow in wintertime normally have temperatures below freezing, 75 floors up above the clouds, the temperature is ten degrees lower than on the ground
Time to go: Vitaliy Raskalov instructs a fellow team member on top of the crane as the begin their descent. After breakfast and sleep two members of the group decide not to take the risk and instead basejump off the building at the foot of the crane, Three others, including Mr Raskalov, brave the freezing temperatures – and the impending arrival of security - to climb the crane. Using handheld cameras they document their success on the frozen crane, which at 1,214ft is so far up the clouds block the view of the ground. After leaving their mark - a few lightning-shaped stickers - they climb down and are seen doing high fives outside the construction building.
A five-star eco-friendly resort in Canada has unveiled their latest high-scale retreat that's suspended entirely in trees. These 12 tree house villas hanging in the tranquil Bruce Peninsula forest, just northwest of Toronto, are the E’terra Samara resort's latest villas, matching luxurious comfort and futuristic style with the great outdoors. Inviting guests to 'escape the city lights for starry nights,' each open-aired villa is uniquely positioned around its centre tree to take advantage of specific site features and lighting while mutually ensuring guest privacy.
New kind of luxury: Located about four hours northwest of Toronto, five-star resort E'terra Samara plans to soon offer these 12 eco-friendly tree house villas
Inspiration: The villa's design is said to be inspired by the samara seed, pictured, that's commonly known as the maple key
The one-bedroom villas, whose design is inspired by the samara seed - commonly known as the maple key - features a bedroom area, front furnished living space, composting toilet and an eco-friendly shower. 'The structure is designed to be suspended from the tree's trunk, rather than following the common practice of nailing to the tree, thereby hugging the tree rather than piercing its flesh,' Farrow Partnership Architects says of their design. But if lofting about in a canopy overlooking the Georgian Bay needs more pizazz, guests are also able to take in the resort’s other activities including a day spa and sauna, salt water infinity pools, hiking trails, kayaking, canoeing, boat tours, or a stroll in their gardens. For those guests who prefer to stay comfortably inside, however, the villas' sheltering fabric bonnets are not only self-cleaning but actively neutralize airborne pollutants and odours.
Living arrangements: An artist's rendering of a villa's interior shows the front open-aired living space followed by the beginning of the bedroom in the foreground
View from above: Seen looking down on the tree house, the protecting fabric bonnet is said to be not only self-cleaning but to actively neutralize airborne pollutants and odours. Explaining the process, the resort credits the fabric's coating of PTFE fiberglass and titanium dioxide - that's non-toxic and flame resistant - which activates the sun's UV rays, oxygen and water vapour to break down dirt and any other organic materials. All of the villas are said to be built off-site out of locally harvested wood before installed. Hoping to further protect the area's flora during their installation, progress on the retreat was scheduled around this winter. After its construction, E'terra Samara plans to reopen in mid February with a calendar of available reservations for their 2013 season.
Moving: Each of the villas which are entirely suspending and only said to be 'hugging' the trees without harming them, are able to be turned to benefit its unique natural lighting
Interior: Inside the cube residents live around the center tree while the walls and flooring are similarly lined with a light, white wood giving a cozy ambiance
If the thought of walking along the edge of skyscrapers completely unrpotected turns you queasy, it's probably best you look away now. Daring photographer Tom Ryaboi snaps the Toronto skyline from the top of skyscrapers as a pioneer of the heart-stopping photography movement rooftopping. To achieve these breathtaking photographs, he often has to evade security guards, dogs - and even urban falcons defending their nests.
Daring photographer Tom Ryaboi snaps the Toronto skyline from the top of skyscrapers
The 28-year-old is one of the pioneers of rooftopping, which sees members scale tall buildings to take pictures of the streets below
To achieve these breathtaking photographs, he often has to evade security guards, dogs - and even urban falcons defending their nests
Here Mr Ryaboi can be seen setting up his camera on the edge of a building at dusk. The 28-year-old, from Toronto in Canada, has climbed more than 100 buildings and produced some of the most stunning examples of the craze. Previouslty, when asked why Mr Ryaboi got into rooftopping, he said: 'It's addictive and I am always looking for a higher roof in the city. But I still feel the buzz whenever I reach the top and feel the wind. It's a pure rush of adrenaline.' Disguising themselves so they can carry out their daring stunts, the thrill seekers avoid security and CCTV before climbing to the top of skyscrapers and hanging off the edge - photographing the evidence as proof of their antics. He added: 'I try to blend in as much as possible. In an office building I dress like I work there, on a construction site I dress like the workmen. 'It's in my blood. When I was a child one day, my dad came home from work and found me sitting on top of the fridge. 'They had no idea how I had got there, but obviously I just liked climbing things.'
Rooftoppers often disguise themselves to get past security and to the top of buildings in order to capture the shot they want
The dangers of rooftopping are obvious as followers climb out to areas that are unprotected and thousands of feet above ground
A female rooftopper is seen here sitting on the edge of a skyscraper at night
Life continues below as rooftoppers capture scenes that are rarely seen by the general public
Rooftopping will often take its followers above cloud level
Mr Ryaboi clearly has a head for heights as he leans over some of Toronto's tallest buildings
Part of the art's allure is the adrenaline rush photographers get when taking pictures in such dangerous locations
This past year has been rich in memorable images, the best among them capturing the essence of the human experience and nature at its most powerful. Like every year, National Geographic Magazine has compiled the most evocative images of 2012 into one impressive gallery which showcases traditions of indigenous peoples from around the world, the underwater life of marine mammals and natural phenomena. One photo taken in a remote Russian community shows a father, Aidyng Kyrgys, caressing his newborn baby girl, whom he lovingly refers to as 'my little goat' in the ancient but dying Tuvan language which only has 223,000 speakers.
Another image, taken closer to home on a Native American reservation, shows a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe squeezed into the back of a car for the journey home along with used clothing donated by an Indian charity that seek to help those in need in the community. On the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, a photographer captured a shaman performing an ancient ritual involving a long-nosed white mask as he burns sage for purification. Among the images in the Best of 2012 – National Geographic Magazine Photos of the Year slideshow is an awe-inspiring photo taken in California's Sierra Nevada depicting a majestic, snow-covered 3,200-year-old sequoia called the President which measures 247 feet in height and has the widest crown in the forest. Photographer Paul Nicklen was lucky to snap a picture of Emperor penguins just a tenth of a second before they got spooked and took off, leaving only bubbles in their wake.
Awe-inspiring: A dying tornado like this one depicted in July is said to be in the 'roping out' phase
Majestic: Cloaked in the snows of California's Sierra Nevada, the 3,200-year-old giant sequoia called the President rises 247 feet
Swift: A school of Emperor penguins swimming away in a flurry of bubbles after being spooked by a photographer
Dying language: Aidyng Kyrgys caresses his newborn baby girl, whom he refers to using a Tuvan term of endearment: anayim, or 'my little goat'
Ancient ritual: Stanley Good Voice Elk, a heyoka on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, burns sage to ritually purify his surroundings while using a mask to channel the power of a spirit
Cramped ride: A passenger barely has room for the journey home as a car is loaded with used clothing donated by a Colorado-based Native American charity
Brave: Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a drop over the Niagara Falls in a barrel in 1901
Before Felix Baumgartner, or even Evel Knievel, there was a daredevil with much humbler ambitions - but by no means less mettle.
Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over the Niagara Falls in a barrel in 1901.
And her story is all the more extraordinary because it seems she never set out to become a record-breaker.
After the death of her husband David in the American Civil War, she had lived a nomadic existing teaching on opposite coasts of the United States.
But at the age of 62, she was facing a grim financial future and possible retirement in the poorhouse.
In a bid to secure her financial future, she decided to become the first person to drop over the Niagara Falls on her 63rd birthday.
Annie believed her feat would bring her fame and fortune by selling memorabilia, group signings and giving talks.
But although her achievement made headlines around the world at the time, it didn't quite work out as planned and she lived the rest of her life in relative poverty.
The New York Times reported how thousands of people gathered at the bottom of The Horseshoe Falls to witness her attempt, despite most thinking she stood little chance of surviving.
Frank Russell, Annie's manager, had been warned he could be charged with manslaughter if she died during the attempt
The barrel was made from oak and iron and padded inside with a mattress
Annie Taylor believed she would make fame and fortune through her death-defying feat over the Niagara Falls
The tension was even more palpable for Annie's manager Frank Russel who had been warned he could be prosecuted for manslaughter by both Canadian and American police if she died.
The custom-built barrel was around 1.4metres tall by 1m wide, made of oak and iron and padded with a mattress.
After she got in a lid was put in place and a bicycle pump used to pressurize it.
A 200lb anvil was used to weight it and it floated in an upright position through the rapids and down the 174-foot fall.
A crowd of thousands reportedly gathered to watch the attempt although most didn't believe Annie would survive
Her first words after emerging from the barrel were 'I prayed every second except when I went unconscious'
There were apparently several delays before the launch - particularly because no one wanted to be part of the potential suicide.
Much to their amazement, the crowd saw the barrel bob back to the surface after a 20-minute journey over the edge.
Many then doubted that the woman inside would still be alive.
But Annie emerged unscathed and suffering only from a degree of shock.
She told reporters how she had momentarily gone unconscious during the trip but thanked God for her survival.
According to reports, Annie's first words were: 'I prayed every second I was in the barrel except for a few seconds after the fall when I went unconscious.'
'Nobody ought ever to do that again. If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat.
'I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.'
Despite her achievement, Annie never achieved the wealth she desired, partly because her manager decamped with her barrel, and most of her savings were used towards private detectives hired to find it.
Thrill-seeker Garrett McNamara has taken the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed after riding a 78-foot tall break off the coast of Portugal in November.
Confirmed by a panel of experts at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, McNamara, 44, beat the previous mark held since 2008 by surfing legend Mike Parson by just one foot.
Barreling down the enormous wave at Nazaré, McNamara risked being drowned or crushed by the enormous wall of water he was riding to take the coveted crown.
Garrett McNamara, of Hawaii, surfs a 78-foot wave, the tallest break ever ridden at the Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré, Portugal
'It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn’t mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazaré and Portugal and for all my family and friends there,' said McNamara at the Billabong awards ceremony in Anaheim, California. 'To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them… I didn’t want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year.'
Garrett McNamara is towed onto the giant wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal as prepares to surf the 78-foot tall wall of water
The legendary surfer prepares to release his grip on the tow bar which is being pulled by a jet-ski
Garrett McNamara uses all his skill to keep himself upright as he tears across the face of the giant wave
Confirmed this week by a panel of experts, Garrett is now the Guinness World Record holder for riding the largest wave in history
The fierce wave formed off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal an area known for its funneled waves caused by the low shallow ocean floor at the shore
Taking to the sea on the morning of November the 1st, 2011, McNamara had been invited to Nazaré by the Government of Portugal to investigate the area for a big wave competition.
'There is an underwater canyon 1,000ft deep that runs from the ocean right up to the cliffs,' explained McNamrara in an interview with the Guardian last year.
'It's like a funnel.
'At its oceans end it's three miles wide but narrows as it gets closer to the shore and when there is a big swell it acts like an amplifier.'
Biggest Waves Ever Surfed:
As a veteran surfer of enormous waves, McNamara used buoyancy aids to help him return to the surface if wiped out and was towed onto the wave by a jet-ski rider.
The Pittsfield, Massachusetts born surfer also used a specially weighted surf board that provides extra momentum on release from the jet-ski.
Stunned by his own achievement in surfing the wave, McNamara had to navigate not only the 78-foot tall wall of water, but also the lip of the wave as it came to halt as it approached the shore.
Weighing tons, the cresting lip could have knocked him off the board and into a spin cycle under the water that would have either drowned him or broken bones with the force of the water.
Garrett McNamara is dwarfed by the huge wave
The lip of the wave begins to form over McNamara (left) as the record ride comes to an end (right)
However, McNamara skillfully and successfully navigated the wave to set the record.
'It's only when I got in that I saw the footage,' said McNamara to the Guardian.
'I was in awe. I mean I felt it was a decent size.
'But you can see it then pops up 10, 20, 30 feet higher. It just supersizes.'
The legendary surfer was proud to beat the previous record holder by a single foot to take the Guinness crown
When asked how he found the courage to surf waves so large McNamara had a clear answer.
'I went to Alaska a while back and surfed the waves generated from a glacier calving and ever since then, I’ve never been afraid in the ocean. I feel very comfortable in the ocean' said McNamara.
'This wave, if you fell, I don’t think I would’ve come home.
'It’s so dangerous, so much water moving in two different directions and it’s all rocks. All the water is moving straight into the rocks.'
It is an astonishing image of a unique city.
This incredible panoramic image was taken 828 metres above sea level, from the top of the tallest building on earth, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
Composed of over 70 individual photos, it recreates the view Tom Cruise made famous as he sat at the tower’s peak during the filming of Mission Impossible Four, ‘Ghost Protocol’.
Navigate around the interactive image below (may not work on all mobile devices)
THE BURJ KHALIFA
The top of the Burj Khalifa, developed by global property developer Emaar Properties, is over 200 metres above the highest point reached by the building’s elevators, which reach the 160th floor at speeds of some 10 metres per second.
The tower’s public observation deck is on the 124th floor.
The journey to the pinnacle involves a steep ladder climb within the 200-meter spire that crowns the building.
It takes in Dubai’s many landmarks, including the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, the world’s biggest mall, the Dubai Mall and the Meydan Racecourse and shows the remarkable growth of a city still on a fast track to developing as a business hub and tourist destination.
Dubai based photographer Gerald Donovan created the shot using a mechanised panoramic tripod head to take a series of 48 panoramic images, each shot at a resolution of 80 megapixels.
Mr Donovan was given access to the top of the Burj Khalifa, developed by global property developer Emaar Properties. It is over 200 metres above the highest point reached by the building’s elevators, which reach the 160th floor at speeds of some 10 metres per second.
The tower’s celebrated public observation deck, at the top, Burj Khalifa is on the 124th floor.
The journey to the pinnacle involves a steep ladder climb within the 200-meter spire that crowns the building.
These were then stitched together with manually shot images to ‘fill-in’ gaps caused by equipment installed at the top of the tower such as the lightning conductor and aircraft beacons.
The result is an image that can be zoomed, tilted and rotated, giving viewers a sense of how it must feel to sit on top the world’s highest building.
One of the astonishing 360 images from the top of the 828 metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai
The image has been released to celebrate the second Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA), which will take place in Dubai in March.
The award, the world’s richest photography award, will see prizes totalling $389,000 and attracts entrants from 99 countries, with a grand prize of $120,000.
'This is an extraordinary image taken from an extraordinary location,' said His Excellency Ali bin Thalith, the General Secretary of the award.
'It reflects the goals of HIPA, to extend the boundaries of photography and celebrate images of unusual beauty and quality that are truly outstanding,'
HOW THEY DID IT
Photographer Gerald Donovan climbing to the top of the tower to set up his equipment
Dubai based photographer Gerald Donovan said he has wanted to take the photographs for several years.
'I've always wanted to – ever since seeing the first designs of the building,' he told MailOnline.
'The Burj Khalifa is a perfect building for shooting a 360 degree pano from the top of, because its 'roof' is only 1.5 meters across.
'This means that you can shoot from a single location and capture the entire view, without the building itself getting in the way (aircraft beacons and lightning conductors excluded!).
'I shot a 45 gigapixel panorama of the Dubai skyline in April 2010 – at the time, the world’s largest ever digital panorama, and thought that a panorama from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa would be a great way to top that.
'As long as it was big enough to make it interesting to zoom around in, it didn’t need to be 10’s or 100’s of gigapixels.
'It’s all about the view. Nothing can top that view – it is a unique place.
'Since the time of the Great Pyramids, remarkably few buildings have held the title of 'World’s tallest structure on land'.
'The Burj Khalifa is only the 15th in over 4,500 years of human history.
'It’s a very, very special building, and hopefully people will appreciate it even more now that they can see the view from the top.
'It’s all about being able to take people up there “virtually” and share what I experienced for real, and I hope people enjoy it!'
Tom Cruise is one of the few to have see the incredible view from the top of the towers, when he performed a stunt for Mission Impossible 4.
Tom Cruise performing another hair-raising stunt, perched barefoot at the very top of the Burj Khalifa on November 19, 2010 in Dubai. The new interactive image lets others see his point of view for the first time
The view from the top: The Burj Khalifa Pinnacle Panorama reveals what Dubai looks like from the spire at the top of the building
Photographer Gerald Donovan was given unique access to the top of the the Burj Tower to take the images, which is accessed through a skylight (right) at the tower's peak. The team also have to deal with local wildlife during the shoot - including pigeons in front of the camera (left)
Tom Cruise climbing the building in the latest Mission Impossible film
The Burj Khalifa, which stands 2,717 feet tall
How high? The Burj Khalifa comapred to other tall buildings around the globe
The Burj Khalifa Pinnacle Panorama image lets people look around Dubai
The Texas Sky Screamer allows up to twenty-four riders to sit in open-air swings while spinning in a 124-foot circle at speeds up to 35mph.
At its 40 story peak - and if the riders still have their eyes open - they can see not only Arlington, but also Dallas and Fort Worth.
Prepare for the ride of your life: The world's tallest tower swing ride sends those foolhardy enough to get on it a whopping 400 feet up in the air
Everything bigger in Texas: The ride was officially opened on Saturday at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park in Arlington
Video: Watch ‘Cowboy’ Chris' reactions to the death-defying ride
Head for heights: One of the first people to try out the new ride was 'Cowboy' Chris from local radio station 94.9 KLTY
At its 40 story peak riders can see not only Arlington, but also Dallas and Fort Worth
‘We are thrilled to add the tallest swing ride in the world to our premier line up of rides and attractions,’ said Steve Martindale, park president of Six Flags Over Texas.
‘It offers the most unique ride experience for an attraction of this kind, and also lives up to the Texas mantra that everything is bigger in the Lone Star state!’
There are seven SkyScreamer rides located at theme parks throughout the U.S. but this latest one dwarfs the competition, the next tallest is in Georgia and is a mere 242 feet tall.
Due to the far greater height though, riders are spun at a reduced speed of 35mph compared to the usual 43pmh.
The Texas SkyScreamer allows up to twenty-four riders to sit in open-air swings while spinning in a 124-foot circle at speeds up to 35 mph
Six Flags Over Texas is now open for daily operation and continues through August 25
Video: Learn more about the Texas SkyScreamer
There are seven SkyScreamer rides located at theme parks throughout the U.S. but this latest one dwarfs the competition, the next tallest is in Georgia and is a mere 242 feet tall
All the rides follow the same tried and test formula, riders are carried aloft in two-person swing-like chairs attached to a rotating gondola mounted on a central tower.
When the gondola reaches the top of the tower, riders are swung in a wide circle at its fastest speed, while offering expansive views of the local countryside.
One of the first people to try out the new ride was ‘Cowboy’ Chris from local radio station 94.9 KLTY, he later posted footage on YouTube showing his reactions to the death-defying ride.
Six Flags Over Texas is now open for daily operation and continues through August 25.
The breathtaking moment thrill-seeking surfer catches 'world's biggest wave' off the coast of Portugal
This thrill-seeking surfer was but a speck on this enormous wall of water as he appeared to set a new world record for the biggest wave ever ridden.
Surfing legend Garrett McNamara caught the towering wave - believed to have measured around 100ft - off the coast of Nazare, in Portugal, yesterday. If the claims are verified the U.S. born athlete will have successfully beaten his own record, which was also set at Nazare, when he successfully rode a 78ft high break at the end of 2011.
Monster wave: Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave ever surfed when he rode this 100ft crest in Nazare, Portugal
Mr McNamara, 44, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but his family moved to Hawaii's North Shore when he was 11.
His previous record breaking ride in 2011 was described as 'inspiring' by fellow pro-surfers. The surfer's latest breathtaking feat came yesterday, as huge waves crashed off the coast of Nazare throughout the day. The exposed beach break in the north of the country attracts surfers all year round.
Crashing surf: The thrill-seeking surfer is thought to have set a new world record for the highest wave ever surfed
Surfing legend: Garrett McNamara of Haleiwa, Hawaii, is seen with the surfboard he used to set his existing record in Portugal in 2011
McNamara risked being forced dozens of feet beneath the water, or slamming into a reef or the ocean floor, if he had wiped out on the massive wave.
His 2011 record was confirmed by a panel of experts at the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
He had skillfully rode a 78ft wave - beating the record held by Mike Parson since 2008 by just one foot.
The surfer said at the time that hearing his name announced at the awards ceremony gave him 'a bigger rush' than actually riding the wave.
'It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful,' he said at the ceremony in California.
'I didn’t want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year.'
This is the heart-stopping moment a daredevil kayaker plunges down a 65ft waterfall - captured from a one of a kind spectacular bird’s-eye view.
Photographer Tim Kemple rigged ropes across canyons to capture the vertigo-inducing views as the kayakers freefall down the monster drop.
Adventure-loving trio Erik Boomer, Tyler Bradt, and Galen Volckhausen spent 10 days hurtling down powerful waterfalls of up to 130ft in height on a trip to Tlapacoyan, Mexico.
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Don't look down: Photographer Tim Kemple rigged up ropes to capture the vertigo-inducing views
Rush: The three kayakers with nerves of steel drop up to 65ft down huge waterfalls in Mexico
Mr Kemple,from Salt Lake City, US, hung within touching distance of the kayakers as they plummeted over the waters edge.
He joined a team of filmmakers - Anson Fogel, Skip Armstrong, and Blake Hendrix - to capture the incredible views and turned the trip into a short film called ‘Cascada’.
His stunning vantage points show the heart-in-mouth views the gutsy kayakers are faced with as they freefall down the monster drops like never seen before.
Mr Kemple said: 'The narrow, gorge-like nature of the two big rivers in Tlapacoyan meant there were opportunities to set up a line across the canyons.
'We didn’t expect how great it would look and with a little creativity how frequently we could pull it off.
Heart-stopping: The kayak edges over the steep waterfall towards a huge drop into the choppy pool below
Suspended: Photographer Tim Kemple rigged ropes across the canyon to capture the dramatic images
Vantage point: The photographer hung over the rushing water to get the unique pictures
Geronimo: Two of the three kayakers wait in the water below as the third drops down the waterfall. 'I could have touched the paddlers as they went by - we were literally dangling a few feet away from the lip of the waterfall. 'The idea of this view, looking straight down the waterfall, was definitely one of those shots that we talked about before arriving in Mexico. 'We weren’t the first people to shoot images in Tlapacoyan but that became the challenge - how could we use light, perspective, and creativity to capture images that people hadn’t seen anywhere before?
'Kayaking waterfalls is a one-take situation. Even if the paddlers enter the water cleanly, it hurts, like getting punched in the face.'
Vertigo-inducing shots show real-life Spiderman dangling from skyscrapers and tiptoeing along bridges
He would 'rather be dead than injured' - and it is probably just as well because real-life Spiderman Mustang Wanted spends his life millimetres from doom as he swings from cranes and tiptoes along bridges.
Among the 26-year-old 'skywalker' from Ukraine's daredevil exploits are walking the plank on the top of a high-rise building, dangling one-armed from a pylon and doing sit-ups dangling from a window frame.
It is hardly surprising the extreme sportsman boldly claims 'fear does not exist'.
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Precipice: Daredevil Mustang Wanted, 26, balances on a narrow metal rail in Kiev, Ukraine during one of his 'skywalking' stunts.
Death wish: Mustang says you may as well 'live in a sterile laboratory' if you are not prepared to take risks. 'Sometimes I think that I'm a robot. I do not feel anything,' said Mustang, who asked for his real name to be withheld. 'Death is not the worst thing that can happen. Everyone dies - but not everyone lives the way they want. 'If you are afraid of everything - you must live in a sterile laboratory.'
Are you mad? Mustang Wanted walks without safety aids along a bridge. He says he doesn't fear death, which is probably just as well
Just another day at the office: Nonchalant Mustang looks relaxed as balances on a ledge and scales a building
Precarious: Mustang says he 'feels like a robot' due to his lack of fear for anything. The former legal adviser, from Kiev, has yet to suffer serious injury and says he 'would be dead rather than injured' if an accident occurred. His only real concern is the police, who sometimes intervene and put a stop to his stunts. Mustang's unnerving exploits have won him thousands of fans online since he began a decade ago. The real-life Spiderman who dangles from skyscrapers and tiptoes...
Abyss: Mustang knows that one false step would mean almost certain death - but he says he would rather be dead than live with a serious injury
Balancing act: Mustang's antics have won him thousands of fans since he quit his job as a legal adviser to risk his life.
Soaring ambition: Mustang hopes to spread word of his antics and gain sponsorship deals in order to become a stuntman. He has always been involved in extreme sports since childhood and his first hobbies included Capoeira and 'throwing battle axes'. His future plans are to push his sky-walking career, gain more sponsorship deals for his videos and eventually become a stuntman.
A daring photographer took several vertigo-inducing pictures from a specialized bridge inspection crane 840 feet above the Colorado River.
Huge structure: The engineers appear as small as ants as they work on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge above the Colorado River
High up: The bridge inspectors were photographed 840 feet above the river
Specialized shooting: The vertigo-inducing photos were taken from a specialized bridge inspection crane
Not easy: Photographing the engineers on various areas of the structure proved to be a challenge, Domagala writes
Different views: Domagala says he went through a 'gamut of lenses on the shoot'
Prepared: The specialized rope access engineers were securely harnessed and equipped with workers helmets
Young bridge: Construction on the bridge began on February 14, 2005
Over borders: The bridge spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada
Costly infrastructure: The bridge is valued at $114 million
Grand images: The amazing photographs were published on Domagala's website, http://www.arthurdomagala.com
Client: Domagala took the pictures for Stantec Consulting Services
Big jobs: Stantec Consulting Services, provides consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management and project economics
One large step for man: Paraglider sets record for longest flight with incredible 240-mile, seven-hour flight over American West
These incredible images capture the moment a paraglider flew into the record books with a 240-mile flight. Gavin McClurg, 41 sailed at speeds of over 30mph and more than 18,000ft high for seven-and-a-half hours over the largest mountain ranges in the American West. Mr McClurg took off from Bald Mountain, Idaho, taking in stunning sights as he crossed several mountain ranges including the three boulders, Pioneers and Continental Divide before landing at the edge of Canyon Ferry Lake, just outside of Helena, Montana.
Record-breaker: Gavin Mcclurg (photographed by his wife Jody MacDonald) broke the U.S. Distance Paragliding Foot Launch Record when he glided 240 miles over the mountain ranges of the American West
Stunning: Mcclurg, 41, glided for seven-and-a-half hours from Bald Mountain, Idaho, over the wild landscapes before landing at Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana
Jaw-dropping: The paraglider took in unparalleled views during the glide, which smashed the previous record of 204 miles set last year
The record breaking flight smashed the previous 204-mile record set by Jon Hunt and Nick Greece last year.
Mr McClurg's wife, Jody Macdonald, who is also a paraglider and photographer, joined her husband on his record-breaking flight, as she followed closely behind capturing his feat on camera. The paraglider, who now holds the U.S. Distance Paragliding Foot Launch Record, said he was thrilled.
He said: 'My wife Jody is a paraglider pilot and she taught me the basics.
'I love paragliding, the adrenaline, the danger, the remoteness, the freedom, the impossibility of it all. Every single time I'm in the air I can't believe what I'm doing.
'And it is by far and away the most intense and gratifying sport I have ever done.
'I fly before I do anything else, and as much as possible. I'm totally addicted, I'm a junky.
'This year, I flew in Mexico and Colombia for all of January, April through June in the European Alps. And we moved to Sun Valley last year because in my opinion it's the best big mountain paragliding site on Earth.
Adrenaline junkie: McClurg said he is addicted to the 'danger, remoteness, freedom' of the sport and travels all over the world to take in the best views
High-flyer: McClurg sailed at speeds of over 30mph and more than 18,000ft high during the glide and said he was thrilled when he finally broke the record
Alien landscape: The paraglider said the area is 'untapped' and the possibilities of over North America are 'literally endless'
'I never specifically set out to break the record. I'm just always trying to fly as far as I can, taking routes that are challenging and interesting.
'The American West is untapped - we have so few pilots in North American compared with Europe that the possibilities are literally endless.
'This was a huge flight, but it's just cracking the surface of what's possible. So every time I'm in the air, if the weather presents a good day, I try to fly as far as I can.'
The couple have paraglided around the world and have taken stunning photographs over the Himalayas, Morocco, Namibia and Mozambique.
Mr McClurg said he needed to carry food and water during his record-breaking glide.
He said: 'It's very likely on these big flights that you could land an awfully long way from a road, so you've got to be able to get yourself out.
'The day before I broke the record, I'd just achieved my personal best of 192 miles. And just a few days before that was another personal best of 159 miles. So it was a good week.'
Despite his love for the sport, Mr McClurg acknowledges how dangerous it can be.
On a roll: In the week before the glide, McClurg broke his personal best twice before finally smashing the U.S. Distance record
Dedication: McClurg and his wife Jody MacDonald, who is also a paraglider and photographer, have travelled across the world to pursue their love for the sport
He said: 'You're flying in extremely turbulent conditions in this part of the world, especially in the middle of the day when the thermals are cranking. At times I was in climbs that were in excess of 8 meters per second. Sun Valley is known as one of the most demanding places to fly that there is.
'This particular flight saw the strongest conditions I'd ever flown in - windy and incredibly strong thermals.
'So I had to focus really hard, for a long time, but it seemed I was just in the right head space. Maybe I was "in the zone" as they say. At one point though I nearly landed at 319km into the flight - the exact distance I'd gone the day before.
'When I knew I'd broken the record I was ecstatic, just a short while before I had nearly landed - my track recorder showed I was just 35 meters off the ground.
'And suddenly I was back up at cloud base and I knew I had the record in hand and it was just an insane exclamation point to the best flight I'd ever done. 'There are a lot of pilots in the world right now who could have gone farther than I did, it just takes the right mind-set and a lot of hours in the saddle as we say. 'But the most important thing is getting the right day, and then identifying when you're up there that you've got the day and can push hard. 'I can't wait to see what people will do, and I hope I can continue to be a part of it.'