Taking the world by storm, these adventurers have achieved cult status by challenging themselves to the extremes of man’s physical boundaries. Some of these exemplary individuals have even broken paradigms of old age and disability when achieving what they have aspired hard and long for. Here is a look at 20 of the most extraordinary people in the world who have pushed all the limits of adventure travel.
Taking the human race by storm currently, is the explorer Mike Horn who is challenging man’s physical boundaries by attempting the first circumnavigation in the world crossing both the North and South Poles without any motor vehicles. This man is planning on doing it all just on foot, ski, and sailboat over 360 days.
2. Laura Dekker
At the peak of her teenage years, the Dutch traveler by the name of Laura Dekker became the youngest person in 2012 ever to take a world-wide voyage in her sail boat, all by herself.
3. Yuichiro Miura
The 80-year old Yuichiro Miura proved to the world that age is just a number by scaling the tallest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Everest last year.
4. Matt Guthmiller
Achieving fame at the age of 19, Matt Guthmiller set a world record just a few months ago as the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the world solo by plane. His second trip will be a world tour raising money for charitable purposes in a couple of months.
5. Graham Hughes
World renowned Graham Hughes became the first person in history to travel to all 201 countries in the world in one trip, without flying. This 4-year long project named, “The Odyssey Expedition,” was completed with the aide of Lonely Planet and also earned Hughes a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for this trip.
6. Turner Barr
Redefining the 9-5 system, Turner Barr has taken on a mission to demonstrate how anyone can leave their boring desk jobs and acquire gainful employment while traveling around the world through the project, aptly named, “Around the world in 80 jobs”.
7. Rosie Swale-Pope
Setting a new score for mankind, Rosie Swale-Pope acclaimed the title of being the the first person to run across the globe. Spanning over 5 years and roughing out about 50 pairs of shoes, Swale-Pope set off on this incredible journey at age 57 and also garnered over $400,000 for charity in the process.
8. Felix Baumgartner
Being the subject of the most viral topic two years ago on October 14th, 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped from the very edge of our planet, back down to its surface and stunned the whole world. There were a couple of world records which he broke in the process, most noteworthy of the lot being the first man ever to achieve Mach 1.25 and break the sound barrier without any jet propulsion or spacecraft.
9. Ahmed Gamal Gabr
The famed Ahmed Gamal Gabr spent four years training under the guidance of consulting experts to become the world record holder for being the first man ever to complete the deepest solo scuba dive in the world. Plunging down 1,090 feet to the bottom of the Red Sea over 12 minutes, and returning to the surface alive over 15 minutes, Ahmed broke the record of the former record holder who died on his return back from the depths.
10. Gunnar Garfors, Tay-young Pak, and Oystein Djupvik
This Norwegian trio achieved worldwide fame by smashing the world record by traveling through 19 different countries in 24 hours. Starting in Greece, and then passing through most of Eastern Europe before ending in Liechtenstein, these globe trotters are already planning their next record-breaking 24-hour trip.
11. Diana Nyad
Proving to the world that persistence and determination pays off, Diana Nyad succeeded at her fifth attempt to hold the record of becoming the first person to complete the 110-mile swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida without the protection of a shark cage. This record holder was 64 at the time and is currently training for her next big challenge.
12. Rhys Lawrey
Riding across 20,000 of the 50,000 miles on his motorbike, the 23-year-old Rhys Lawrey is halfway to creating history before June of next year. The trip will take him through 73 different countries and 52 consecutive capital cities.
13. Jordan Romero
The worldwide phenomenon, Jordan Romero achieved global superstardom and a world record when he became the youngest person ever to reach the peak of Mt. Everest at the age of 13. Romero went on to conquer the other 7 tallest peaks in the 7 continents. Then at 15, Jordan Romero became the youngest person ever to finish scaling a total of 142,114 feet of hostile mountain terrain. He is now in the process of climbing all the tallest peaks in the United States.
14. Saburo Shochi
At the tender age of 106, Professor Saburo Shochi became the oldest person ever to go on a world tour lecture series exclusively on public transportation in 2012.
15. Katie Spotz
Rowing in her kayak across 3,000 miles of open ocean from Africa to South America, this 22-year old lass by the name of Katie Spotz earned the title of being the youngest rower to cross the Atlantic Ocean (or any ocean) solo. In the process, she raised $150,000 to bring fresh water to all those in need around the world in need.
16. James Cameron
The name that shot to fame with the epic movie Titanic and later Avatar, James Cameron spends his free time exploring the depths of the oceans of the world. He is known to have made history by solo piloting a cutting-edge custom-made submersible 7 miles below the ocean’s surface, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the world with the help of National Geographic and a host of world-class marine biologists and researchers in 2012.
17. Lynne Cox
Holding the record for becoming the first person ever to swim across the Bering Strait from Alaska to the Soviet Union in 1987, Lynne Cox had to be enclosed in a heated chamber to bring her body temperature up to safe levels since the waters were so cold, ranging about 4 degrees C. But then in 2003, Lynne Cox did the extraordinary act of wearing nothing but a swimsuit and goggles to swim 1.96 km through the waters of the Antarctic, spending 25 minutes in water cold enough to kill a person after only 5 minutes.
18. Gary Connery
Starting off as a stuntman in Hollywood, Gar Connery has worked on over 100 films and TV shows and stood in as a stunt double on films like Indiana Jones, Batman Begins, and the latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation. This superstar is the world’s first wing suit pioneer by becoming the first person in the world ever to jump out of a helicopter 2,400 feet high above the ground without a parachute but only a specially designed suit on May 23, 2012.
19. Erik Weihenmayer
Easily one of the most influential people on this list, Erik Weihenmayer has been a mountaineer, skydiver, ice climber, distance biker and skier since the age of 13 without the advantage of an eyesight. Despite his disability, in 1995 he climbed 20,320 ft. to the top of Mt. McKinley, and two years later he reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Erik even went on to achieve cult status and a world record for being the first blind person to climb Mt. Everest in 2001.
20. Dan Osman
One of the first few people to pioneer the sport of free soloing, Dan Osman always had the habit of climbing hundreds of feet without the safety of a rope doing it all as fast as possible. This supersonic climber achieved worldwide fame when he attempted to speed climb Bear’s Reach, a cliff face in the Lake Tahoe region of California. Dan scaled 400 feet of vertical rock in only four minutes and twenty-five seconds by leaping upward with nothing below him but air. But in 1998, his thrill-seeking nature led to his demise when a rope snapped during a free fall in Yosemite National Park. He continues to remain an inspiration to countless climbing enthusiasts today.
This article originally appeared at distractify.