GoPro cameras are everywhere, and for good reason: the miniature cameras are powerful enough for indie filmmakers to use without sacrificing quality, yet simple enough for everyday users to operate without a lot of frustration.
The cameras are compact, travel-friendly, waterproof - some of the higher-end models even come with slow-motion capabilities.
However, if there's one thing that's guaranteed the GoPro's success, it's the camera's durability. Sure, it's waterproofed, but even beyond that, the cameras are capable of taking quite a bit of punishment before they cease to function. There are plenty of stories in which GoPro cameras fall from some ridiculous height, hit the ground and somehow continue to work.
Case in point: a GoPro camera found in Sweden documented a nearly two-mile fall from the back of a skydiver - and survived.
A quick heads-up: the sound isn't all that great, so you'll probably want to mute the video.
First things first: those hoping for a smooth descent and a steady shot are going to be disappointed...the video is more like tossing a GoPro in a washing machine than anything else.
It's hard to tell exactly what happened in the video - just before the camera gets knocked loose, it seems as if one of the skydivers is having trouble controlling his flight. Just a few seconds later, an arm can be seen for a split second - after that, it's all tumbling and spinning (and, for some of you, nausea), though it's hard to truly confirm if the other skydiver is what caused it to come loose.
Surprisingly, after falling for such a long time, the camera doesn't explode on impact - in fact, it's a relatively tame landing, all things considered. Letting a camera drop nearly two miles isn't something you really want to test out, but not only did the GoPro survive the drop, it kept on filming (even if it was just footage of a grassy field).
That's not even the best part of the story: despite the camera possibly lying in that field for years (there's no way to tell, as there's no timestamp on the footage), the camera and the memory card survived. YouTube user Kristoffer Örstadius claimed that his father found the camera in a field one day, and after checking the camera's footage and posting what he found to YouTube, Örstadius was able to return the camera to its original owner.
At the very least, it proves that buying a protective case for a GoPro might not be the best use of one's money - after all, if it can survive dropping out of a plane, it should definitely survive falling off of a table...
Photo: Andreas Kambanis | Flickr