Advertisement

This Australian's Viral Tumbling Stunts Have Reached 27 Million People

In the past few days, more than 27 million people have watched a complication video of a man almost falling over, before bouncing up and walking away, unscathed.

The viral star is Jiemba Sands, a 22-year-old Tasmanian acrobat and stuntman who's also known online as "the fence guy".

He's been tumbling his entire life, and making videos for years, but it was only last year that he blew up online.

"I was working so hard making content and it wasn't really going anywhere," he told 10 daily.

"No one was paying attention, so I thought about how to stand out more. It was either be the best of the best, which is really hard, or just be unique. I started trying to be more creative with my content."

Last July, Sands posted a video of himself tumbling over a fence. He woke up the next morning with 60,000 Instagram followers.

"It was pretty crazy," he said.

"Since then, I've just been having fun, posting funny stuff online."

Now, he has more than 600,000 Instagram followers -- and his viral fame is beginning to translate into paid work, with Sands recently flying to Norway to perform ski stunts in a film.

"I'd never even skied before," he said.

"But they trusted my skills, and the character wasn't supposed to know how to ski. I was having to fall off ski lifts, face plant in the snow, that kind of thing."

He recently found viral fame again with a video compilation posted to Twitter.

"This is better than anything on streaming, TV, cable or satellite," one person commented.

"This guy has more cool in one pinky than I do in my entire extended family," said another.

Perhaps surprisingly, Sands has never sustained a serious injury. His worst was a sprained ankle.

"Growing up, I learned all the basics. I've got that awareness of being upside-down," he said.

"I'm not scared, I know how it [a stunt] is going to come out."

The son of a dancer mother and acrobat father, Sands has been performing his whole life. He started practising gymnastics at age five, and then in his teens "got really into" parkour and freerunning, a parkour-offshoot that incorporates more of the flips and flash of gymnastics.

There's a trademark humour to his stunts, too -- a video showing him slide down a hill and underneath a fence wouldn't be quite the Instagram masterpiece without the awkward smile at the end.

Most of the time, he just comes up with an idea and asks whoever's nearby -- friends or family -- to film.

Other stunts take a little more work. A video of him pulling off a corkscrew flip before whacking a baseball took about 500 attempts.

"I kept missing it over and over again," he said.

"For the next three days I could hardly get out of bed."

And if he wasn't posting insane stunts to Instagram, YouTube and TikTok?

"I'd probably be a lollipop man."

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au