Iffland and Popovici dive 120 metres underground in a Romanian salt mine.
Multiple Red Bull cliff diving champion Rhiannan Iffland and local star Constantin Popovici pulled off a world first in leaping from the walls of Romanian mine.
Pulling off the stunt 120 metres underground, their bodies decelerated from 85km/h to zero in almost double the speed due to the water’s heavy density.
Here is all you need to know:
– Salt mining stopped at the location back in 1880 but the venue has been turned into a tourist destination in recent years.
– The high salt content of the water created a more buoyant force so the two divers came to a complete standstill just 2.5m below the water surface compared to their usual 5m when diving from a height of 27m.
– To make the never-before-done feat all the more complex, the duo were diving without any natural light into the dark water below.
– Following the stunt, Iffland explained: “We ticked a ‘world’s first’ box today: the first ever underground dive into a salt mine. It’s very dark down in the lake. It’s actually quite a unique experience to hit the water when it’s that salty. It just pushes you straight up to the surface.”
– Of her own experience from the unique platform, Popovici added: “Being in a cave it’s totally dark, we have lights but it’s still not a natural perfect setting to dive, so that’s a very challenging situation. Standing on the platform you almost touched the wall with your head or hands, so it’s a bit challenging to push and dive into the right spot to avoid the shallow water – it’s the most outstanding and mentally demanding project I’ve done in my life. I am really proud to be the first Romanian cliff diving in Romania. We never had the opportunity, and I am really excited it’s in this iconic place in this region of Transylvania; I have been in this mine before and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”
– Both are hoping for a return to the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series despite the current global uncertainty. A revised calendar is expected early next year.