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Insane Cliff Diving Footage From Ireland
Two very unique things happened in the Aran Islands last month: people talked on the street conversing only in Gaelic, and world-class divers threw themselves off of an 89-foot-high platform into a rectangular blowhole known as the Serpent's Lair.
A collection of three inhabited islands off the western coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands are regarded as being one of the last places on the planet where it's still possible to hear the Gaelic language spoken amongst the majority of locals.
The commitment to maintaining the Irish heritage in the Aran Islands is so strong that the main island of Inis Mor even houses a coláiste, an Irish-only language school where students caught speaking English at any point are open to expulsion without refund of their tuition.
With that thought in mind, I wonder what the Gaelic term is for "psychotic cliff-diving freak athlete," because I can imagine that was mumbled a number of times by the crowds of local onlookers watching divers jump 28 meters (89 feet) into a roiling cauldron of freezing cold seawater.
Last month's participants found themselves jumping into the fourth stop on the 2012 Red Bull World Series of Cliff Diving, "The Serpent's Lair," a naturally occurring, perfectly-rectangular blowhole, which according to Irish lore was once home to a tempestuous and violent sea serpent.
With the serpent nowhere in sight for this year's competition, divers instead needed to worry about doing a belly flop at speed's topping out at 60mph.
Next up on this year's circuit? The September 8 event being held in the similarly chilly waters of Wales.