They look like a boxful of action models hurled off a shelf by an impetuous child. But these figures are all very real – and are pictured in the act of shattering a world record.
Falling at speeds of up to 220mph, the group of 138 skydivers flew heads down in a massive snowflake formation in the American state of Illinois.
Minutes earlier they had been squeezed into six aircraft which launched them into the air at 5,600m (18,500ft).
Four camera operators jumped with the team to film them linking hands in mid-air for judges from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. The agency certified the new record, which was previously held by a formation of 108 free-fallers.
It was a fitting finale after 15 attempts over three days by the skydivers, who travelled from all over the world – including Britain – to take part.
Organiser and participant Rook Nelson, from Chicago, said shortly after landing: ‘I feel amazing. There was a lot of emotion and a lot of days where we should have got it, but we dug down deep and stuck at it.’
And how does it feel falling upside down at such a speed? ‘Basically, like doing a handstand in the air,’ he said.
Please login to add to favorites
Already added to favorites
Added as Favorite