Do you know what a parachute looks like? Guess what: There are tons of parachute types out there! Here's a rundown of all the different kinds.
Round parachutes were the first tools for fabric descent. If your mental image of a parachute involves a big, inverted pouch of fabric suspended over a helpless jumper, then it's a round parachute you're thinking of. Round parachutes served a purpose for a very long time (and still do, in some very specific circumstances), but there were a few issues with this design that caused them to eventually fade from regular use. First off: They're (gulp!) unsteerable. Secondly, they're (double gulp!) not super-likely to land lightly.