Being shot out of a cannon is pretty dangerous.
A lot of people have been killed performing this circus act.
The danger doesn’t come from an explosion, though. Like so many acts, there is more to it than meets the eye.
Compressed air is what really catapults the performer out of the cannon and into the air.
The explosion that you hear is a large firecracker being set off simultaneously for effect.
Most injuries occur because the person misses the safety net.
This can happen when there is a misfire or because the jolt of the launch knocks the performer unconscious.