Defying Gravity: the Ultimate Human Cannonball Quiz
Blastoff! Human cannonballs are blood-and-guts bullets that get standing ovations at the end of every show. How much do you really know about these muzzle-scarred heroes?
The first person to become a human cannonball was a man dressed as a woman. What was his stage name?
How did the first human cannons propel their payloads skyward?
- They used massive amounts of gunpowder.
- They used hydrogen.
- They used rubber springs.
The first human cannonball took flight where?
- New York
What did early human cannoneers use to create a crowd-pleasing, dramatic bang?
- cymbals and drums
- a half a cup of gunpowder
- giant gongs
What's the current world height record for human cannonballs?
- 201 feet
- 185 feet
- 192 feet
How many pounds of pressure per square inch must a human cannonball withstand during liftoff?
- about 500 to 1,000 pounds per square inch
- about 3,000 to 6,000 pounds per square inch
- about 2000 to 2,500 pounds per square inch
David "The Bullet" Smith Jr. once soared over which area?
- the U.S.-Mexico border
- the Grand Canyon
- all of the above
What's the cause of most fatalities in human cannonballing?
- They miss the net or airbag.
- The cannon crushes them.
- They land on their necks.
Elvin Bale, "The Human Space Shuttle," overshot his airbag and suffered what kind of injury?
- He broke his clavicle.
- He ruptured all of his vital internal organs.
- He was paralyzed from the waist down.
In feet, what's the world record for the longest horizontal distance traveled by a human cannonball?
- 185 feet
- 193 feet
- 201 feet
Which family is credited with popularizing human cannonballing around the world for several decades?
- the Zacchini family
- the Zucchini family
- the Zorro family
What's the last, most critical test of the cannon before a performance?
- test-firing a dummy
- testing the fuse
- testing the humidity
During the blast, what speeds might human cannonballs reach?
- 100 miles per hour
- 60 miles per hour
- 20 miles per hour
How do modern cannons fire their human bullets?
- compressed air
- compressed hydrogen
The barrels of human cannons are about how long, in feet?
What sort of safety gear do human cannonballs wear for protection?
- knee pads
In early 2011, why did an English human cannonball die during his performance?
- He overshot his safety net.
- His landing net collapsed.
- He suffered a heart attack inside the cannon.
In feet, about how long are the safety nets used to catch human cannonballs?
- 100 feet
- 50 feet
- 200 feet
What was the name of the first human cannonball to work in America?
Who invented the first device for launching humans skyward for show?
- George Farrell
- George Farini
- Georgia Fallow