Camera technology has come a long way since the days of the first black and white photo. In the modern era, cameras are smaller, more affordable, and found everywhere from phones to dashcams portable units mounted on helmets. More cameras mean more footage - and in the Internet age, that means even more surprising clips ready to view.
There have been some truly insane moments captured on helmet cams. Many of these videos were taken by extreme athletes, giving you all the thrills of skydiving or biking down a mountain without leaving the comfort of your couch. Some of this crazy helmet camera footage starts out normally, and turns extreme when something unexpected happens. From pulse-pounding races with avalanches to recordings of firefighters on the job, these real-life helmet cam videos share some of the most thrilling footage ever caught on tape.
In 2012, a Norwegian skydiver got more than just a pretty view and a rush of excitement: while he was falling, he was almost struck by a meteorite. Not only is this a cool video, it's also the first time a meteorite falling from the sky has been filmed after it has gone dark.
The 2013 urban downhill track final, held in the Andean city of Valparaiso, Chile, had some hair-raising moments. Pro biking is already adrenaline-pumping enough, but add narrow streets and hairpin turns to the mix, and it becomes even more exiting. This rider took stairs 10 at a time, hit wicked jumps, and flew over dozens of spectators watching his run. Somehow he didn't fall, and managed to win the whole race.
Hot air ballooning seems like a tame enough activity: heated air fills a balloon, and riders get a beautiful view of the countryside. Extreme hot air ballooning, however, is also an option. All it takes is a climbing wall, a helmet cam, and someone crazy enough to rock climb with just a half-inch thick piece of rope and their fingertips between them and a long drop to the ground.
Avalanches are incredibly dangerous and terrifying natural phenomena that winter revelers must always be aware of. Skier Eric Hjorleifson ended up on the wrong side of one while shredding through some powder. Rather than stop, Hjorleifson decided to plow through and beat the avalanche down the mountain. The video is pretty harrowing, and the skier is lucky that he didn't end up in worse shape at the end.