Let's say you're an international spy and a dastardly villain has just used his laser eye to cut the cable to your elevator car, sending you plunging hundreds of stories to your death. Everyone knows the best way to survive such a fate would be to jump just before you hit, right?
Well, not really. As proven by the MythBusters, that just doesn't work. But a super-spy doesn't just give up.
As part of a promotion for a book entitled "How to Survive Anything," travel-book giant Lonely Planet has just released a series of videos showing how to survive a variety of situations from getting locked out of your hotel room naked, to yes -- how to emerge from a plunging elevator alive.
Note that steps given in the Lonely Planet video, embedded below, are in contradiction to the advice Eliot H. Frank, at the time a research engineer for the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave to a New York Times reader in 2012.
Frank said that the best course of action would be to lie flat on the floor to distribute the impact across your whole body. And he specifically said not to bend your knees or brace yourself (two pieces of advice given in the Lonely Planet video) because "at high G-forces, your legs would simply not be able to support the weight of your body. Even the weight of your own head would be too much for your neck to support."
So it's pretty much your call. Will you go with the travel book publisher, or an MIT scientist? My advice? Stick with the engineer on this one, but go with Lonely Planet on the naked-in-your-hotel thing. They really do have some good ideas for that situation.