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Riding the Well of Death: Inside a Dangerous Carnival Stunt

Maut ka kuan—Well of Death—is a carnival stunt that involves cars, motorcycles, brave drivers, speed, and precision. Inside a wooden barrel, drivers defy gravity using friction and centrifugal force while the crowd looks on from above. Riding at a 90-degree incline, the men rely on engine power to perform, while the lights and noise complete the experience for the audience. It's not hard to believe that it's a popular attraction. Director Erik Morales of the filmmaking collective Canada traveled to northern India to document the "ordinary guys who risk it all to do extraordinary things."

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.