As the year draws to a close, we’re not going to pretend that 2017 is going to be fondly remembered by everyone around the country. But instead of taking the easy route and simply pretending that 2017 never happened, let’s instead focus on the fact that lots of awesome people did some really amazing things this year.
At Gizmodo we like to feature humanity’s most awe-inspiring achievements; be it >soaring through the air in a wingsuit, slowing down time with a high-speed camera, or simply super-sizing a popular kid’s toy. The world still needs fixing—we’re not going to pretend it doesn’t—but you should really spend a few moments to focus on the good out there, for the sake of your own mental health.
Using just a parachute and guts to fly like an eagle? Awesome.
Skipping 225 times in 60 seconds to set a new Guinness World Record? Awesome.
Letting eight kids experience what it’s like to float in zero gravity? Awesome.
Climbing a 29-storey hotel using nothing but your bare hands? Awesome.
Getting hit and thrown by a bus and then simply walking away from the ordeal? Awesome.
Building the world’s largest Super Soaker water gun? Awesome.
Using your jet boat to put out a fire on land and save the day? Awesome.
Keeping your wits about you and surviving a bear attack by just screaming at it? Awesome.
Diving head first into 1,000 mouse traps just so you can capture the ensuring carnage in extreme slow-motion? Awesome.
Turning a classic Lego set into an RC toy that actually flies? Awesome.
Kayaking through an abandoned shipwreck? Awesome.
Perfectly steering a 200-foot long tractor trailer around a sharp 90-degree right turn? Awesome.
Making your own camera lens from scratch? Awesome.
Building the most epic Rube Goldberg machine we’ve ever seen? Awesome.
Hand-carving an incredibly intricate design onto a penny? Awesome.
Building and flying an RC plane that can hit 450 MPH without crashing it? Awesome.
Painting your self-portrait backwards while looking at a mirror? Awesome.
Creating Vegas-calibre magical illusions using just your smartphone’s camera? Awesome.
Building a chainsaw-powered tricycle? Awesome.
Autotuning animals to sing the Duck Tales theme song? Awesome.
Parkour running while wearing an inflatable T-rex costume? Awesome.
Making arrows change direction mid-flight with your amazing archery skills? Awesome.
Mountain biking down an abandoned mine shaft? Awesome.
Using your rocket science skills to build a dartboard that always guarantees a bullseye? Awesome.
Electrocuting a watermelon using 20,000 volts? Awesome.
Kayaking down a flooded mountainside ditch? Awesome.
Turning a logging machine into a bucking rodeo bull? Awesome.