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GoPro jumps off skydiver, films its own 10,000-foot freefall

A brave video camera separates from its owner and goes for a spectacular dive to the ground. The fascinating footage survived the fall.

Skydivers
Moments before the camera took off by itself. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Some types of technology are more adventuresome than others. Action sports cameras, for example, tend to get up to a lot more trouble than items like routers or Bluetooth speakers. One daredevil of a GoPro captured a harrowing adventure when it fell off a skydiver and found its own way to the ground.

The video starts off normally enough, showing a group of parachutists preparing to leave a plane. Thumbs-up signs are given. Divers mug into the camera, which appears to be mounted on a helmet. The wearer climbs out of the plane, then jumps free to film a trio of other divers as they float through the air.

Then, things go wonky. A fellow skydiver looks up and smiles at the camera, which promptly takes a tumble into an increasingly fast spin. Watching this is like looking at a kaleidoscope in a centrifuge. The swirling vortex resolves when the GoPro touches down with a thud in a patch of grass.

YouTube user Kristoffer Orstadius says his father found the camera in a meadow in Sweden. He speculated that it might have been there for years, but the footage on the memory card came out perfectly fine. Orstadius posted the last video the camera captured on YouTube and, in a happy ending, was able to reunite the GoPro with its skydiving owner.

This isn't the first time a video camera has taken a jaunt into the unknown. Last year, a GoPro detached from a different skydiver's helmet, landed in a pigpen and got up close and personal with a swine snout, filming the whole time. Another popular video purported to show an action camera catching a ride on the back of an eagle.