Based on a quick hike across the internet, there are a great many humans who make their living by performing amazing acts that require extraordinary balance. Above couple are pros, from here

I can’t say I understand why people do it, or why we want to watch. But they do and we do. Watch your chairs if this bunch comes for dinner. Seen here.

Above are Japanese firefighters honouring their predecessors, long ago, by climbing up on bamboo ladders, as they once did. Reported here.

I don’t think these are steelworkers on their break high above the streets of Manhattan. But they may be.

At the moment, Asians seem to have most of the spotlight for amazing, gravity defying acts of balance.

But the desire to show off in front of others by not falling when you should cuts across all cultures, it seems. These two are in Ivory Coast, on stilts, impressively.

Jean Monti Highwire and Sway Pole Show is based in Germany–or rather a hundred feet above Germany. Jean comes from four generations of circus and highwire entertainers. See here

Nick Wallenda is even higher, and he’s a seventh generation gravity defier. This ride on a bike set a record. Story here.


More of the Wallenda family, who are bound to encourage a few more in the crowd to give it a try, despite a terrible fall by the family while performing at a circus in 1962.

I guess I’m willing to concede that the will to challenge gravity by climbing up on someone or something, whether it is a few feet above ground or a hundred, is something that exists in all of us, at least for a while . Nice photo above by George Tice, 1966, of an Amish boy having a go, seen here.

And like all widely and strongly felt human desires and capabilities, some will make art of it, something beyond daring, something beyond comprehension, something beautiful and deeply moving. This is Philippe Petit. Above. More here.