Now, up front, let me say yes, I know it is a movie, and a superhero movie at that, so abilities will be exaggerated and injuries downplayed. That said...

When Bane puts Wayne in The Pit prison, there is a rope prisoners tie to themselves as a "safety line" to catch them if they fall while attempting to climb to freedom.

Without a full-body rock-climbing style harness, or at the very least a very wide belt to distribute the force, when they fall and hit the bottom of the rope's reach, shouldn't the force of impact concentrated on such a small surface pretty nearly, if not actually cut the want-to-be escapee in half? Especially given that the waist area, around where they tied it, is basically nothing but soft tissue.


Bungee rope is specifically manufactured to have 90% stretch (a 1 metre fall on it will result in you stretching a further 0.9 metres - this is why you ping back) - regular climbing rope is about 30% (you don't generally ping back), and abseiling rope less than 5%. These are modern ropes made with artificial fibres. Abseiling (or the more impressive rappelling) makes use of dynamic friction to reduce the instantaneous load on the rope.

Old climbing ropes had next to no stretch - and regularly snapped when climbers were making more than moderate falls (about 5 or more metres).

Given the rope in the pit was probably "home-made" out of whatever the prisoners had on hand to make rope with (cloth), there wouldn't have been much stretch.

Getting towards an answer - I can't remember the exact details of the film, but lets assume a five metre jump. You want a bit of slack in the rope, so make it six metres. That means a fall of six metres, but this wouldn't be straight down as you'd start to pendulum - you'd take up that one metre of slack as a straight fall and then start to swing. A one metre drop wouldn't hurt much (and you wouldn't come to a complete stop) - you'd have brusing where the rope dug in, but you wouldn't snap the rope or yourself.

The movie makes it look more dramatic - but in reality, it wouldn't be too bad.

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    Not too bad huh? You go first, I'll be right behind you. – Xantec Oct 29 '13 at 14:34
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    Also historically climbers didn't use harnesses. The first harnesses were developed in the 1960s and the Whillans (the first "popular" harness) wasn't until the 1970s. Before this climbers made do with wrapping the rope around themselves – Dan Kelly Oct 30 '13 at 10:38

Vsauce 3 experimented on a 30ft fall tied with a firehose in the waist on a ballistics dummy. It cut it in half. And it had no legs or arms.


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    Could you edit in a source for this? – TheLethalCarrot Dec 26 '19 at 21:36
  • That's Die Hard. It's not the same jump. – F1Krazy Dec 26 '19 at 22:05

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