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Fact or Fiction: Daredevils
by Staff
Adrenaline junkies get their fix by daring to do the unthinkable. These daredevils push the limits on what can and can't be done. But how much do you really know about thrill seekers? Prepare to judge yourself on your daredevil knowledge, but whatever you do, don't try these things at home.

Funambulism is another term for the daring activity of tightrope walking.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Funambulism isn't tightrope walking, it's skydiving!

No person has successfully scaled, or upwardly climbed, skyscrapers without the help of equipment.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: People scale the lower parts without equipment -- but the higher portions require gear.

Barnstorming, or when pilots perform stunts in airplanes, got its name from pilots using farmland for take-offs and landings.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The activity's name originates from people huddling around barns to watch the shows as well.

The first man to survive Niagara Falls' drop in a barrel was accompanied by his cat.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: This was not a man's doing. A woman and her cat braved the treacherous drop together.

The king of all daredevils, Evel Knievel, received his alias while in jail.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He got the name from friends, not while in jail.

"Wingwalkers," or daredevils who ventured outside of moving planes to perform stunts, became popular entertainers in the 1960s.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: These bad boys became well-known in the 1950s instead.

Live performances aren't the only ways audiences can get their daredevil fix -- DC Comics created the comic series "Daredevil" in 1964.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Marvel Comics sired the comic, not DC Comics.

The first human projectile performed his trick in drag.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: This daredevil wasn't wearing clothes at all!

BASE jumping, or freefalling from relatively low altitudes, is a daredevil activity because jumpers must deploy their parachutes quickly.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's also daring because jumpers have little time to handle complications or wind conditions.

Daredevil Felix Baumgartner holds the world record for the highest and lowest BASE jumps.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He's got the highest jump on his resume, but not the lowest.

Evel Knievel's famous motorcycle jump at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., was so memorable because he landed perfectly.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He did it blindfolded too!

Cannons used for human cannonball performances are real, but they use less power to reduce injury.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They're real canons used at full power.

In 1920, poor Charles Stephens lost his arm attempting to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

  • fact
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  • almost fact: Stevens did lose his arm -- but it's all that was left in the barrel when it got to the bottom.

Robbie Knievel, one of Robert "Evel" Knievel's sons, has NOT completed the majority of his father's motorcycle jumps.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: In fact, he hasn't completed one.

The first ever non-frame parachute jump was made from a hot air balloon.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It was from a hot air balloon's much bigger cousin, a dirigible.

During his humble beginning as a motorcycle shop owner, Evel Knievel attempted to jump over a box of rattlesnakes and a mountain lion in order to attract visitors.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He didn't do it; his brother did.

No one has tightrope walked across the Niagara River.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: One person did a long, long time ago.

The MTV show "Jackass" was known for its daring and senselessly dangerous stunts.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It was a stand-up comedy show.

Calling themselves polar bears, these Russian groups enjoy swimming in frigid temperatures, even though they risk frostbite and hypothermia.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: In Russia, they call themselves walruses, NOT polar bears.

If a skydiver's parachute doesn't work, he's out of luck.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: He can hope he lands on something soft ... or that his reserve chute opens.