Home Performance Magician David Blaine David Blaine Biography
David Blaine Biography
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Main Article: Vertigo

Blaine's next stunt was called "Vertigo." On 22 May 2002, Blaine performed the stunt in Bryant Park, New York City, where a crane lifted him onto a 105 ft (27 m) high and 22 in (55.88 cm) wide pillar. He remained on the pillar for exactly 35 hours. With his legs weak from standing atop the pillar for so long, he ended the feat by jumping down onto a landing platform made out of a 12 foot (3.7 m) high pile of cardboard boxes and suffered a concussion.

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Above the Below

Main Article: Above the Below

On September 5, 2003, Blaine began his 44-day endurance stunt sealed inside a transparent Plexiglas case suspended 30 feet (9 m) in the air next to Potters Fields Park on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The case, measuring 3ft by 3ft by 7ft (0.9 x 0.9 x 2.1 m), had a webcam installed so that viewers could observe his progress. Blaine claimed he went 44 days without any food or nutrients and just 4.5 litres of water per day. However, this was not verified and the water he was given was never inspected for added nutrients. The New England Journal of Medicine published a paper that documented his 44 day fast and stated that his re-feeding was perhaps the most dangerous part of the stunt.

The stunt became the subject of much media attention and a large degree of derision and ridicule. For example, Page 3 girls and glamour models from various men's magazines flashed at him and a burger was flown up to the box by a remote-controlled helicopter as a taunt. It caused speculation when eggs that had been thrown from the crowd were cleared from the box, as he was not meant to communicate with anyone.

Blaine emerged on schedule on October 19, murmuring "I love you all!" and was quickly hospitalized. He appeared gaunt and he claimed to have lost 54 pounds (24.5 kg) during his fast.

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Drowned Alive

Main Article: Drowned Alive

david_blaine_001.jpgOn May 1, 2006, Blaine was submerged in an 8 feet (2.4 m) diameter, water-filled sphere (isotonic saline, 0.9% salt) in front of the Lincoln Center in New York City for a planned seven days and seven nights, using tubes for air and nutrition. He concluded this event by attempting to hold his breath underwater to break the world record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds. Blaine also tried to free himself from handcuffs and chains put on him upon coming out after the week in the sphere. He seemed to have trouble escaping from the last of the handcuffs. Blaine failed in his attempt, holding his breath for 7 minutes and 33 seconds before showing signs of distress and being pulled up by the support divers. Blaine did claim to have succeeded in setting a record for being fully submerged in water for more than seven days straight (177 hours). Blaine underwent multiple short hospital visits after the stunt ended and has entered an agreement with doctors from Yale University to monitor him in order to study the human physiological reaction to prolonged submersion. During the stunt, doctors witnessed skin breakdown at the hands and feet, and liver failure.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius satellite radio, Blaine spoke of the week-long fasting he did before the "drowning alive" stunt, to avoid having to be concerned with defecation. For urine, he wore an external, condom-style catheter.

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