MythBusters examined the Hollywood trope made popular by films like Die Hard, that an action hero can jump off a building while being tied to something, shoot out a window, and safely land inside several stories below.
Hosts Jon Lung and Brian Louden tested the theory by tying a rope around a dummy equipped with sensors and shoving it off a six-story tower.
The yank of the rope gave the dummy terminal whiplash, so they attempted the drop from four stories. The four-story drop still appeared to be too violent and would likely result in an injury.
After assessing that a two-story drop was plausible, the men set out to test their ability to shoot out off a building and then swing back through a window. It quickly became apparent that this element of the trope was very plausible, as the glass seemed to shatter quickly and easily.
Lung put on protective gear and using a belay system to minimize impact on his spine, he jumped off a building. He fell two stories and then swung safely through — and shattered— a pane of glass. He proved the trope is totally plausible.
MythBusters airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Science Channel.
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