Be they hikers, bikers, surfers, swimmers, rowers, runners, divers, or mountaineers, the record-makers of the adventure community have one thing in common: They aren't afraid of that giant leap into the unknown, to go farther and faster than anyone has ever gone before, or go to the kind of places most of us can only fantasize about. This year's 20 greatest feats span the globe, from the first descent of a remote river in Papua New Guinea to the first ascent of a frozen Niagara Falls. There are record-shattering FKTs (fastest known times), mind-blowing round-the-world journeys, and body-breaking challenges that defy the limits of human endurance. Need some inspiration to get off the couch in 2016? Here are the superhuman accomplishments of the past year's most inspiring explorers.
Credit: Christian Pondella / SIPA / AP