Have you seen that advert with the real life Angry Birds game? Where people play the game on a phone and augmented reality makes a bird fly out of a giant fake screen and hit the giant obstacles? It’s one of many popular videos online at the moment which use or reference sling shots in some way.
As of now, the real life Angry Birds video has had 11,493,556 views on Youtube, since being uploaded in June 2011. Another video with a smaller version of the game in the Philippines in which people manually launch a fabric angry bird at obstacles with a sling shot has nearly 4.5 million views.
A quick Google for “giant slingshot” produces many humorous results, including several hits for a video of a marine on a ride in Orlando. The ride at Magical Midway is a giant sling shot which propels the poor, foolish thrill seekers 400 feet in the air at up to 90mph. One unprepared marine was filmed on the ride, and his terror and screaming made the video a viral hit – Google it and see how many sites have picked up the “screaming marine”.
The ride works by using bungees and steel cables to catapult the pod into the air. The frame is seriously high and would have required some heavy duty lifting slings. An enormous magnet holds you to the floor, and when the magnet is released the willing victims and flung upwards at high speed. Do a Youtube search for this ride and you’ll find there are LOADS of results. The screaming marine has notched up over 1.3 million views in just a month, making it something of a sensation.
Another popular vid which has been blocked by Channel 4 is of a woman using a slingshot incorrectly and launching a watermelon into her own face. A little bit more sadistic than the others, perhaps. There are many other videos on Youtube of what look like homemade slingshots . They appeal because of the thrill and the high potential for danger, but also the anticipation before the launch that even a viewer will find tense and just a little bit frightening.