Defying Gravity: the Ultimate Human Cannonball Quiz
by Staff
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?

  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lacey

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?

  • England
  • New York
  • California

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?

  • gunpowder
  • compressed air
  • compressed hydrogen

The barrels of human cannons are about how long, in feet?

  • 30 feet
  • 50 feet
  • 10 feet

What sort of safety gear do human cannonballs wear for protection?

  • helmets
  • knee pads
  • jumpsuits

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?

  • Zazel
  • Zooey
  • Zippy

Who invented the first device for launching humans skyward for show?

  • George Farrell
  • George Farini
  • Georgia Fallow