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Google’s Interactive Doodle Celebrates First Parachute Jump

October 22, 2013

Google parachute doodle

By Cynthia Herbert :: 12:34 AM

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a parachute doodle on Google’s homepage!

That’s right, today’s Google doodle, an interactive one, celebrates the 216th anniversary of the world’s first parachute jump.

On October 22, 1797, in Paris, France, Andrew Garnerin was the first person to jump with a parachute that did not have a rigid frame. Much like the doodle illustrates, Garnerin jumped from hot air balloons that ascended as high as 8,000 feet in the air.

His first jump, however, was at a more tame height of 3,200 feet, using a silk parachute.

Garnerin’s first jump was not without incident, as the parachute lacked a vent at the top, so he pitched and turned somewhat violently. He landed unharmed about a half-mile from where the baloon took off.

Two years later, Garnerin’s wife, Jeanne-Genevieve, became the first woman to jump with a parachute.

Unfortunately, Garnerin died in a balloon accident while testing a new parachute design in 1823.

The Google doodle today is interactive – once the parachutist is released from the balloon, your computer’s left and right arrow keys will guide the descent.

Filed under → Games, Google, Social Media