How High is High Enough to Die?

Have human evolved to the point where we’re no longer susceptible to death from falling? I ask this after reading about two recent incidents where people survived large falls:

Man survives 16-story fall

After a night out drinking, Joshua Hanson was horsing around with two friends on the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis early Saturday morning when he apparently lost his balance and crashed through a floor-to-ceiling window.

He fell 16 stories.

Hanson, 29, landed feet first on a roof overhang near the hotel’s main entrance along the Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis police said, and he was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

City Pages РThe Blotter Р12/22 Morning Communiqu̩

“I was going to die. You don’t have much time to say goodbye. I just said: ‘Shit I’m going to die.'” — New Zealand skydiving instructor Michael Holmes, after falling 15,000 feet when both of his parachutes failed, landing in a blackberry bush, and only suffering a punctured lung and a broken ankle.

16 stories or 15,000 feet. Is there really that much of a difference?

Wait a minute. According to this article, Holmes only fell 12,000 feet (caught on video). Ah, that explains it.

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