An illusionist, magician and a master entertainer... David Blaine's reputation far exceeds his numerous feats. From roadside magic to spending seven days in a transparent coffin 6 feet under the ground, this 35-year-old American has done it all and gone through all as well.
Blaine's death-defying performances have earned him tremendous fan following world-over. His latest act promises to be a nail-biting thriller. Imagine hanging upside down from a thin wire with no safety net and five stories up for at least 60 hours -- Gives you goose bumps, doesn't it? That's exactly what Blain will attempt this stunt on September 22. He risks blindness in the stunt.
Image: Illusionist David Blaine hangs upside down at Wollman Rink in Central Park on Tuesday in New York City.
On November 21, 2006, Blaine was suspended and shackled in a gyroscope for 3 days above New York City's Times Square.
As part of a promotion for a department-store chain, the illusionist was expected to unshackle himself before a specified time.
Blaine, once again, proved why he is considered the best. After spinning in shackles in the gyroscope for two days, he emerged with a crash half a hour after being allowed to try.
This challenge helped bring smiles on the faces of 100 children and their families selected by the Salvation Army, as they each got a shopping voucher.
Image: Blaine revolved in the gyroscope for nearly 3 days before unshackling himself.
Blaine has kept the centuries-old art form of street magic alive.
Blaine casually approaches people on the road and does tricks ranging from guessing the cards in their hands to making cents vanish into thin air.
The response varies from amazement to shock to hysteria.
Speaking to USA Today, Blaine said: "Nobody believes it when someone makes the Statue of Liberty disappear. But people can believe when a trick occurs with a $2 pack of cards in front of their own eyes."
In 2002, Blaine wrote a book titled Mysterious Stranger: A Book of unique Magic that provides instructions on how to perform card tricks and illusions.
Image: Blaine performs a card trick for Israeli Arab children in the Arab village of Majdal Kroom during a solidarity visit to northern Israel.
On May 1, 2006, Blaine submerged himself in a water-filled sphere for a week.
Breathing through an air tube, he consumed only Gatorade and other liquid nutrients.
After the 7-day ordeal, Blaine was taken out from the tank, locked in chains and dropped back into the tank. The reason -- he was aiming to break the then world record for longest breath held under water of 8 minutes and 58 seconds.
However, he failed in this endeavour.
Image: Blaine floats inside a glass sphere filled with water in New York.
On September 5, 2003, Blaine sealed himself in a glass box over the Thames river in London for 44 days and nights. He survived on water during the period.
Over 4,000 people turned out to see Blaine perform his first challenge outside United States.
During the course of the challenge, his website reported that by day 38, Blaine was 'occasionally incoherent and was exhibiting signs of delusion', smelled strongly of sulphur and was longing to take a bath.
Image: Blaine gestures as he sits in a glass chamber suspended near Tower Bridge in London.
On May 22, 2002, Blaine stood atop a 90 foot pillar for 36 hours above New York City's Bryant Park without a safety net, braving torrential rain and violent winds.
He had only a pair of ankle-high handles to hold onto if the wind became too strong. At the end of the stunt, Blaine plunged nearly 100 feet to the ground from a pole.
According to the Evening Standard, the illusionist claimed to have been inspired by San Simeon, a 12th century mystic, who squatted on top of poles as a protest at what they believed where the excesses of their time, and to be closer to God.
Image: Blaine stands 100 ft above the ground for 35 hours on a 22-inch diameter platform in Bryant Park in New York City.
On November 27, 2000, Blaine encased himself in a six-ton block of ice in which he survived for 62 hours.
Wearing only pants, boots and a knit cap, with his upper body merely smeared with a layer of Vaseline, Blaine endured the challenge -- freezing himself in the 8-foot by 6-foot block of ice. To urinate, he used a catheter that ran down his pant leg. Unfazed by fears of hypothermia, frostbite and muscle spasms, the entertainer completed the challenge.
Image: Blaine stands encased in ice during his endurance trial in Times Square in New York.
On April 5, 1999, Blaine buried himself alive for seven days and nights in the heart of New York City. He was entombed in an underground plastic coffin underneath a 3-ton water-filled tank.
During this period, he ate nothing and drank only two to three tablespoons of water a day.
The magician outdid his hero, Harry Houdini, who had planned a similar feat but died in 1926 before he could perform it, said a BBC report.
Emerging from his coffin, all Blaine said was, "I saw something very prophetic; a vision of every race, every religion, every age group bonding together and that made all this worthwhile."
Image: Media persons catch a glimpse of Blaine just before he is lowered into the ground.
On April 30, 2008, Blaine attempted to break the record for holding breath which he unsuccessfully attempted during his May 2006 stunt, using the same water-filled sphere setup.
Since his original attempt, a new record had been set by Peter Colat of Switzerland on February 10, 2008.
Blaine held his breath for 17 minutes 4.4 seconds to set the world record, according to Guinness World Records, surpassing Colat's previous mark of 16 minutes 32 seconds. This was Blaine's first Guinness record.
Prior to his attempt, Blaine prepared by breathing pure oxygen for 23 minutes.
Image: Blaine attempts to break the world record.
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