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This 52-year-old skydiver planted 100 million trees during a single jump: 'I held my breath the entire time'

"I don't have that drive for danger anymore."

Skydiver Luigi Cani Skydiving

Photo Credit: @luigicani / Instagram

Legendary Brazilian skydiver Luigi Cani recently landed his most impressive stunt yet. In a matter of minutes, the 52-year-old planted 100 million trees during a dive over a deforested section of the Amazon rainforest. 

After successfully completing 14,000 jumps and setting 11 skydiving records throughout his career, his jump last January granted him an all-new title: "The Germinator." 

"It was the only jump in my life that I held my breath the entire time," Cani told The Red Bulletin. "The seeds were released precisely where we wanted them to be. It was complete ecstasy."

A box containing seeds from 27 trees native to the rainforest was jettisoned with Cani, who was then able to release the seeds to a 38-square-mile area of land. Cani and his team partnered with Audi do Brasil on the jump. The stunt aimed to combat deforestation in the Amazon, which hit a record high in 2022

During the first half of the year, about 1,500 square miles of the rainforest were destroyed due to deforestation. That equates to a space about five times the size of New York City

Deforestation is so prevalent because there are few restraints on agricultural expansion, gold mining, and logging in the Amazon. People like Cani and his team are working to preserve its trees as the rainforest is one of Earth's most powerful fighters against rising temperatures. 

Reforesting the Amazon will help maintain rainfall in the region and allow trees to continue absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps keep our planet from overheating. 

Following five years of planning and multiple failed tests, Cani's reforestation mission was a major success — his skydiving seeds each had a 95% chance of germination. Cani and his team wanted to give their trees the best chance to thrive, so they sourced the seeds by hand from the neighboring rainforest two months prior. 

In about two years, Cani will be able to see the trees' progress by satellite. In the meantime, he plans to enter a new stage in his career by incorporating conservation efforts into his antics. His next jump will combine skydiving with removing plastic from the ocean.  

"I don't have that drive for danger anymore," Cani told The Red Bulletin. "I want to do something to help. Like the seed drop, this next project will have real meaning behind it."

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