In Sea of Thieves your pirate can climb into a cannon and be fired out of it, so what better way to promote the game in real life than to do the same? And why not attempt a world record in the process?
Yesterday, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ (how appropriate) stadium in Tampa, Florida, this actually happened. Human cannonball David “The Bullet” Smith Jr climbed into a 34-foot cannon and was fired 200 feet, setting a new Guinness World Record.
— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) March 13, 2018
It was Smith’s own world record of 193 feet, set in 2011, which was broken.
Smith Jr also happens to hold the Guinness World Record for highest human cannonball shot – 85 feet – which was set in 2013.
It’s a skill which runs in the family, as do the names. David “Cannonball” Smith Sr is seen below launching himself over and beyond two ferris wheels at a fair. There’s actually some speculation this may be the longest shot ever, at 200 feet and four inches, although we don’t know the exact measurements of his son’s recent shot.
Human cannonballs are not obviously fired out of big cannon with gunpowder because they’d be blown to smithereens. They are instead launched from platforms inside the cannon which are propelled with compressed air, with great puffs of smoke making it look like a bit like the real thing. But look how rigidly they hold themselves in the air – there’s a skill and knowledge, often passed down in families, on show.
The trajectories themselves are calculated using that old thing maths and some literal dummy shots. But that doesn’t always stop things going wrong. Safety nets fail and equipment can go wrong.
Gizmodo has written a couple of good articles on human cannonball-ing, one charting the history of the pursuit, the other following human cannonball Gemma “The Jet” Kirby.