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Water balloon parachute

Descend quickly, decelerate gently
  [vote for,

Parachutes are fine if you want to while away precious minutes, twiddling your fingers as you fall. But falling without one invites a rapid deceleration at the end, which can be difficult. Even a water landing is not soft enough if you are at a height, thanks to that demon surface tension.

BUNGCO introduces the Water Balloon Parachute. Take a deep breath then make your descent surrounded by a 10 foot weather balloon full of water. Plummet rapidly towards the receiving waves. Then on impact, continue your descent, slowed gradually first by the embrace of the water in your balloon, then as you exit the bottom of the balloon, by the ocean or lake in which you have landed.

Emerge with fingernails attached, unscathed and ready for action!

Larger water balloons are necessary for landing on hard surfaces like parking lots.

bungston, May 08 2017

Counterpoint https://what-if.xkcd.com/12/
xkcd's What If: Raindrop mentions the effects on a person inside the Raindrop. [neutrinos_shadow, May 08 2017]

Hydrostatic shock https://en.wikipedi...ic_shock_(firearms)
Nasty [8th of 7, May 10 2017]


AusCan531, May 08 2017

       Depending on various factors, this system will kill you at various rates. Water hitting water is still going to be a hard impact.
neutrinos_shadow, May 08 2017

       There's going to be an efficiently coupled hydrostatic shock wave, certainly.
8th of 7, May 09 2017

       Perhaps if the water balloon slammed into the surface of the water ahead of the person, the bubbles in the water would allow them to slam into the now-burst-balloon-water with less life threatening trauma.   

       // the bubbles in the water //   

       Cavitation ? That's on the trailing edge of the shockwave ...   

       And it is going to be a shockwave - the pressure won't be isotropic. We anticipate issues such as catastrophic pulmonary haemmorhage, multiple bone fractures, and disruption of cell membranes to the point where pretty much every structure is converted to pink tofu.
8th of 7, May 09 2017

       /We anticipate issues/   

       Might these be sidestepped with the addition of another outer balloon?
bungston, May 09 2017

       or perhaps an inner balloon would do it. The problem then isn't the shock wave, but the person inside hitting the side of the balloon at terminal velocity.   

       A sufficiently large water balloon wouldn't have this problem.
Voice, May 10 2017

       // The problem then isn't the shock wave, but the person inside hitting the side of the balloon at terminal velocity. //   

       No, no, no.   


       The pressure wave, and the following cavitation, is extremely damaging.   

       Consider the "Dam Busters raid" - liquid tamping of the charge allows a much smaller amount of explosive to rupture a massive wall.   

       Detonations underwater are much more dangerous than those in air.   

       It's all about the peak pressure.
8th of 7, May 10 2017

       In response to [Neutrino's] counterpoint link: My Rebbe was telling us a story about his great grandfather's miracle.   

       If it's raining you don't have to go out and sit in the Sukkah, - the ritual tent, on the holiday. But then you miss out on the experience.   

       So the great grandfather told his son (my Rebbe's grandfather) that he wishes to go out and sit in the Sukkah regardless of the weather. They sat in the Sukkah said the blessing and ate, with not a drop of rain on them. When they left the Sukkah, they saw that 40 Seah of water, the amount needed for a Mikvah had accumulated on the Schach - the palm-tree roof with see-through slots in it. As they entered their home they heard the water come collapsing down into the Sukkah leaving nothing dry inside.   

       One of my friends asked: Wait a minute! If there was 40 Seah of water on the roof it means the Schach roof was made of a non-vegetative material, which is prohibited, and therefore renders the Sukkah worthless.   

       And here we learn, said my Rebbe, never to tell a Hassidic story to a Misnagged (those opposed to the Hassidic ways)
pashute, May 10 2017

       This whole Hassidic thing always sounds like the Hobbit to me.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 10 2017

       [pashute], I'm missing a WHOLE lot of cultural context for that story to make any sense at all.   

       Or, as I say to my friends (when it's raining): You know what you do when it rains? You get wet.
neutrinos_shadow, May 10 2017


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