Will jumping off the Famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) Hurt? Will I die?


Bosnia, Fun, Tourism / Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Short answer YES its a 20 meter fall, pay the guy in the speedo to do it while you take his picture and drink a beer.  Even professional cliff jumpers get injured jumping off it. 

Mostar Bridge
By Josep Renalias – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

We have all seen videos, pictures, and even seen the daredevils jump off one of Bosnia’s most iconic bridges. We ask the questions most people ask… How many people die? How many people get put into the hospital? What does it feel like?

 

You can use math to figure out what it feels like.  Others have used physics to calculate the “Splat Factor”  or the speed you will be falling at the end of your journey, time it will take you to fall, and the amount of energy you would be facing at the end of your journey.

We know the height of clearance for the Mostar Bridge is 20 meters.  This is twice the height of the high dive in olympic pools.  The Golden Gate bridge is 67 meters high.

We can determine that the speed of impact after falling for 2.02 seconds is 19.80 meters per second or71.28 kilometers per hour (44 mph for Americans readers).  That’s about as fast as driving on most roads in Bosnia.

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series compete almost yearly at Mostar erecting a 6 meter platform to reach the regulation height of 26 meters or 85 feet. During the 3-second fall they experience 2 to 3 Gs when they hit the water and decelerated. That’s nine times stronger than the forces Olympic high divers feel. source: Red Bull Media ServiceRed Bull Media Service].

So the most important question… how hard would I hit the ground.  To do this you have to determine how much you weigh. The average weight of an adult in the world is 62kg with overweight americans averaging 80.7kg.  At the height of 20 meters the average person would generate 12152.00 joules of energy at impact (The fat american would generate 15817.20 joules).

If on your next vacation you decide to jump of Stari Most remember you will be traveling at 71 km an hour once you reach the water so no belly flops.

 

Source: wikimedia
70km sign Source: wikimedia

Summary of a Fall

Height. 20 meters (twice that of an olympic high dive, 6 meters below cliff divers normal height)

Time. 2.02 seconds

Speed. 71.28 kilometers per hour (44 mph for Americans readers)

Energy at impact. 12152.00 joules

Will it kill me? It could but you probably will break a few bones even if you land even correctly.

Some fun math calculations if you want to do this by hand:

  • The force of gravity, g = 9.8 m/s2
    Gravity accelerates you at 9.8 meters per second per second. After one second, you’re falling 9.8 m/s. After two seconds, you’re falling 19.6 m/s, and so on.
  • Time to splat: sqrt ( 2 * height / 9.8 )
    It’s the square root because you fall faster the longer you fall.
    The more interesting question is why it’s times two: If you accelerate for 1 second, your average speed over that time is increased by only 9.8 / 2 m/s.
  • Velocity at splat time: sqrt( 2 * g * height )
    This is why falling from a higher height hurts more.
  • Energy at splat time: 1/2 * mass * velocity2 = mass * g * height

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