Would you survive a skydive with an emoji parachute?
Emojis are taking over the world. They are standardized via Unicode, so every provider may create their own version. This has led to some interesting emoji reviews:
- Entomologist rates ant emojis
- Which emoji scissors close
- A thread of rating every horse emoji
- Ranking the “Ringed Planet” emojis
- Reviewing Steam Loco Emojis
There’s also a similar page for butterflies (not specific to emojis, though):
As a former skydiving instructor, I want to contribute by reviewing the Parachute Emoji. I’ll try to answer whether a parachute looks realistic and whether you would survive a jump with that parachute unharmed.
On your system, this emoji looks like this (if implemented): 🪂
Before reviewing emojis, let’s see the build and terminology.
There are two major canopy types:
- Round: Very limited steerability. Mostly used in military.
- Ram-Air: Used in skydiving sport due to greater control over direction and speed.
- Canopy: 7-cell or 9-cell, each cell devided into halves.
- Slider: A small piece of fabric that slows down the canopy opening phase. In the picture it is located right above the head of the skydiver, connecting the left and right part of the canopy. Without it, you would get hurt really badly (up to breaking your back).
- Lines: Connect the canopy to the harness via risers. The lines separate at the top.
- Toggles: Used to steer and break the canopy.
- Harness: Leg, shoulder and chest straps that keep you connected to the canopy.
This is the only emoji displaying cargo instead of a skydiver. Going inside the box sounds survivable, but let’s leave it up to the MythBusters.
Does the skydiver do some rings gymnastics on a parachute?
Only use this parachute in comic books.
This looks like a ram-air canopy. It consists of 10 cells, which no mainstream canopy does (they’re either 7-cell or 9-cell). This alone may have some safety implications.
However, two major parts are missing:
- Slider: As explained above, without a slider you will get hurt when the parachute opens. Removable sliders exist, so one could argue this is the case here.
- Toggles: Even if you’re lucky to be unharmed from the hard opening, you have no toggles to steer and break your canopy. It is possible to use the risers, but it requires more strength and may collapse (“stall“) the canopy when pulled too hard.
The canopy has 9 cells and we can see a slider and toggles. However, the shoulder and chest straps are missing, i.e., you would simply fall out of your harness.
A 7th cell is missing. Additionally, the physics are wrong. Pulling the left toggle makes the canopy turn left, not right as the picture suggests (when the canopy turns, your body will swing to the opposite side).
It looks as if the skydiver is holding the canopy with his/her hands. The blue risers should be connected to the harness instead. If you’re able to hang for 5-10 minutes and do a proper emergency roll upon landing, you might survive (I wouldn’t bet any money on it).
Most technical details are correct, but the physics are not (see WhatsApp).
It’s the only picture where the lines are displayed correctly, i.e., they separate at some point. However, the cells are not divided into halves. Also, the chest strap is missing. It’s not as critical as the Emojipedia version as you can survive a jump with an open chest strap.
The only emoji with a view from behind, which solves some issues from other emojis (straps, cell separators). Only the separation of lines is missing to make this emoji perfect.
It’s hard to pick a winner, as not a single emoji looks fully realistic. Physics aside, I would feel safe to jump with the Facebook, Apple and Google parachutes.