Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Pushing The Limits

The following excerpt is reprinted with permission by Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, in collaboration with Ripley Radio, an on-demand oddcast

Bent Out of Shape

While in Japan on a Fulbright scholarship, Jonathan Nosan of New York City decided to change from academics to acrobatics when he saw a contortionist perform in Tokyo.

With no prior training, four years in circus schools enabled Nosan to bend, stretch, and balance his body in ways that most people wouldn't even think of trying.

Nosan's company, ACROBACK, tours internationally, and his work has been featured in print, on TV, and in feature films - including acting as Jim Carrey's stunt double in The Grinch. (Photo: Bradford Noble)

Pulling A Fast One

Kevin Fast of Cobourg, Canada, has pulled off some really amazing feats of strength. After dragging two fire trucks at the same time for about 50 feet, Fast set a world record for pulling the heaviest truck for 100 feet. Then on June 7, 2003, he broke his own record when he pulled a 55,512-pound tractor trailer for 100 feet in a little over 48 seconds!


José Fernandez of Richmond, Virginia, could swallow razor blades and drive a nail up to the hilt into his head!

What a Hair-Raiser!

Joseph L. Greenstein was 5 feet 4.5 inches tall and weighed 145 pounds, but he was a lot stronger than he looked.

Known as "The Mighty Atom," Greenstein could bite a nail in half, lift a 470-pound weight with his teeth, and bend an iron bar with the resistance of his hair.

In fact, his hair was so strong that in 1928, it was attached by a rope to an airplane - which Greenstein then kept from moving even though it was revving at 60 miles per hour!

A Real Eye Opener

Mahammed Sabir Sipra of Pakistan is a weight lifter - with a twist. Instead of lifting with his arms, Sipra uses his eyelids to lift up to 3.1 pounds. He's even better at lifting weights with his teeth - hefting as much as 68.2 pounds.

Flying High

On May 29, 1998, David "Cannonball" Smith was shot out of a cannon at a speed of 70 miles per hour! Smith picked himself up 185 feet 10 inches away, dusted himself off, and waved to his fans. In spite of the fact that he has been doing his circus act for 30 years, Smith still get a bang out of his work.

Ripley File: 4/27/69

Long Jump! King Teutobod, who ruled the Teutons from 125 to 101 B.C.E., could vault over the backs of six horses.


If you like the excerpt above, you'll love Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Special Edition 2005. You'll find hundreds of outrageous new oddities, fantastic facts, and astonishing acts sure to awe and impress. Find out more at Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

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