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By on May 7, 2006, with 94 Comments

David Blaines Underwater MagicUsually I don’t post story coverages to this website, but this one concernes David Blaine and his new underwater performance. Shortly, this Monday, Blaine immersed himself in a human-sized water bowl where he’ll live for a week. He will use oxygen and feeding tubes to sustain him during the stunt. But that’s not all! As a dramatic finale to his “ubercool” scenario, David will attempt to break the world breath-holding record by holding his breath for 9 minutes while trying to escape from heavy chains!? Some major risks include: hypothermia, blackouts and brain damage. For the last one, he doesn’t have to worry, he obviously sufferes from it already. I’m sure it’s just an eye illusion, but can you help me and guess how this trick works? Looking forward to hear your professional opinnions!

David Blaines Underwater MagicDavid Blaines Underwater Magic

Comments

94 Responses
  1. jmere says:

    He’ll breathe in pure oxygen. 5 times as much oxygen as normal air. That should give him about 5 times the length of breath holding. It’s still a stretch but at about the limit if he’s been training.

    • A chemist says:

      Your ability to hold your breath is not limited by the oxygen you take in but by the ability to purge the CO2 that builds up in your blood. If the concentration of CO2 is high enough in your lungs, your body will stop expelling the CO2, you must exhale before your blood has “room” for oxygen.

  2. NOlo says:

    I dont believe thats an ilusion at all, he is actually in there and covered with water, have you checked the photos of his hands? O_O

  3. vurdlak says:

    well, previously he also had a stunt where he was trapped inside the ice cubicle, but later it was discovered he had a trap door beneth it, and was swapping with his double few times a day…. during the period the cubicle was “polished” by workers who were in that time spraying it with more ice not to melt, then he would make the swap… don’t know how it does it here though… maybe in a same way durring the time no one is looking :)

    Is it possible that the bowl has thick edges inside of which there is water, so that he is trapped in a no water space ? i think thats not the answer…but who knows….

  4. pandora01 says:

    the man is a few bricks short of a load! his profession is the art of illusion..kinda makes you wonder how hes able to continually pull it off.

  5. Kyle says:

    i never saw the big deal about the ice cube thing… would that be just like living inside an iglo.. im sure it would be pretty warm inside?

  6. vice says:

    kelly rippa from regis and kelly went in there with him live on television.. haven’t gotten to look at the tape very closely, but he’s probably really submerged in water.

  7. wes says:

    I live down the street from Lincoln Center (where this stunt is being done), and there’s really no illusion, just a dude in a water-filled bubble. I’m waiting for when he gets out; maybe then he’ll actually do a magic trick.

  8. Pembo says:

    he wont get the record, the average human has a 5L lung capacity, with training that can be raised to around 6-7L, the record holder has a lung capacity of 9L…..his was without pure oxygen too!!!

  9. nbx909 says:

    Pure oxygen can cause you to blackout because blood pH rises fast and your brain doesn’t like that.

  10. fool says:

    Please explain how blood pH rises with high O2???

  11. visaul dichotomy says:

    First, I really like your website.

    Second, as a semi-professional magician, I can say with some authority that Mr. Blaine is indeed in there. As for being encased in ice, Houdini wrote a book about this. No it is not at all like being in an igloo. Igloos are warm because of the air bubbles in snow acting as insulation. Ice has no air bubbles (or at least it shouldn’t). Anyway, the book is public domain, so if you want you can find it. I am almost certain it’s in Micracle Mongers and their Methods. Check it out. But that too is real, although there are ways to make it more bearable.

    Third, I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Blaine is widely disliked by a lot of magicians, mostly for his propensity for doing no magic, being a daredevil, and making 500 times more money than anyone else does. Almost as bad as The Masked Magician.

  12. Max says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a clever media-stunt. He failed it, knowing all along he would fail it- because people knew all the others were illusions. He gets more publicity by failing than he would have by succeeding.

    Just a theory, but I think it’s as likely as the others.

  13. jevon says:

    thats so kool

  14. mi7even says:

    for those of u who do not know, air contains 79.9% nitrogen, 20% oxygen and o.12345334w/e% other gasses….by him brathing in pure oxygen for a week he will increase his oxygen yield to 100% of all air he breathes…this is not healthy but he will be able to hold his breath approx..5 times longer…and with special training before had he could hold it for quite a while…

    btw good site…wana link each other… email me..

  15. Jhonka says:

    I could do that. I just don’t feel like it.

  16. ot oh says:

    there u smart asses go agen wiv ur “scientific explanations” its givin me a haedache tryna keep up wiv it

  17. rocky says:

    his career fall down and need publicity… more dangerous it was, more publicity he got.

  18. Jean Slabaugh says:

    I love to see David do his thing if that makes him cray so are all of us in someway we just wish we could do what he does,That makes him what he is today he preforms for you sit back and enjoy it and quit picking on him.I’m an old lady of 70 yrs. and I love to watch him perform his magic.

  19. Sparkle says:

    There is no way he was submerged for one week .. that itself is a Illusion.. One of the biggest tip offs is if he was doing Number one and number 2 in tank .. That tank would get very VERY cloudy. To say the least..This was a Illusion .. Okies lets Say he had a diaper. Bodly function on your body For one week would have caused sever Wounds Possibly Clean down to the Bone .. This is Physically Impossible.. One so many Others reasons that being what we would call Most Noticeable..

  20. dean bolam says:

    imagine how wrinkly his sausage is.

  21. Hai says:

    i saw that on TV once.how duz he pee in there and also to:
    Jhonka: yea rite
    ot oh: who said u have
    keep up with it?
    and to dean bolam:
    pervert

  22. Chuck Norris says:

    The Jhonka can do anything.
    Trust me.

  23. Pinter says:

    He has a plastic sack around his leg for pee, just like coma patients do. And he doesent poo, you can hold it for a week, especially if ur fed liquid food, just like he is.

  24. kristen says:

    *no coment*

  25. rockgod913 says:

    chuck norris i love you

  26. ty rowley says:

    I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU DO ALL OF YOUR TREKES ON T.V . LIKE THE TIME YOU SWOLOWD A SNAKE AND THEN IT APERED IN THE BOY’S BACKPACK . I WONT TO BE A MAGIC MAN LICK YOU . IF YOU COD SEND ME SHOM INFO ON MAGIC AT 11879.S.INAUGURATION ROAD MR TY ROWLEY

  27. Spença says:

    I know nobody probably wants to know this, but it is possible to hold on your shit for a week. Trust me…it just hurts like a motherfucker.

  28. RandomGuy says:

    Im sceptic bout this for a few reasons: one, osmosis would suk all the water out his body very quickly with that level of exposure; two, i see no points of entry/ exit in the ball so unless he was in it while they melted it together, its fake; three, surely the ball would get cloudy cos of spit and sweat and such; four, why isnt he floating to the top??!!! if hes breathin outta that tube then why arent they stuk two the ceiling? i do apologize for the science, relly i do, it hurts even me…:s

  29. Anonymous says:

    the reflection on the glass is upside down, duh. the city looks upsidedown!

  30. Anonymous says:

    1. skin is waterproof….
    2. even if osmosis would be affecting him in that situation, its the exact opposite, the cells would flood full of water to equalize the amount of solute in each different area.

  31. DanielleBaybeee xxx says:

    hello i watched this programme about 2 yrs ago about david blane and him livin in that box for about 30 days or so,,i think hes so immature and needs to grow up hes just looking for attention you can well tell,, anyway i think hes stupid and i dont even no why people watch him anymore because hes just childish..from danielle age 14.send bk

  32. Anonymous says:

    You’re the one who spelt suffers wrong. He may SUFFER from brain damage, but I bet he can spell.

  33. DancerBlue says:

    you can find some more info @ http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/16871/index.html

    it isn’t very complete, but does cover some of the scientific/medical issues everyone has brought up

  34. chumbawumba says:

    it’s actually REALLY harmful to your body to breathe in pure oxygen – so i’m a bit sceptical of that idea. as for david blaine – he might just be attemtion seeking like you all say- but he’s still pretty amazing, don’t you think?

  35. Jenn says:

    Is it possible it’s not really water? My first thought was of the liquid oxygen used in diving tanks. You breathe it in like air, but it’s liquid, and only takes a couple minutes for your lungs to get used to it. He could sit in it and look like he’s holding his breath, when really he’s breathing fine. When watching the stunt you can even see bubbles coming from his nose where he’s at least exhaling.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hey, if he’s exhaling into the “bubble” wouldn’t there be no room to fit the air? If it’s packed full of water, then where does the used air go??
    Oh, and people, learn to SPELL!!!

  37. Easybake Oven says:

    I read about a substance that is heavier than water, and that is like a gel than contains higher than average O2 levels. Apparently people like him use it, so that when the tank is filled, (say it’s a cuboid shape) the gel like substance is put in first, then the water. The subsatnce sinks because it’s heaver. The guy holds his breath, sinks down into the gel, and all he needs to do is wait, as he can breath the substance for a sustainable length of time.

  38. Anonymous says:

    i dont care how he does it all i know is that he’s great at what he does.. and its amazing to watch… its said that some people have to nit pick everything to death….

  39. Wombat says:

    “the reflection on the glass is upside down, duh. the city looks upsidedown!”

    That has nothing to do with anything. O_o it’s a sphere, the image from the other side is going to be upside down because that’s how spheres work :P

  40. Anonymous says:

    this actually took place a block away from where i work. It was no illusion, he was definitely in that sphere of water on my way to work and on my way home.

    weird guy..

  41. Anonymous says:

    What has this world come to? Why does everybody have to question everything that seems unusual? I happen to think that it’s really cool and I totally believe it. Just accept that some people do wierd things that you probably can’t. GROW UP AND MOVE ON!!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    in my opinion? the guy’s just stupid!
    haha

  43. Anonymous says:

    on my trip to new york where I also saw the wax figures from the other pictures, a few of my friends and I stopped by to check this out on his 3rd day in there and it was definitely real. You could see the air bubbles coming out of his mouth and everthing

  44. Anonymous says:

    I’d sure like to see him breathe pure oxygen like jmere suggested! At least the ball could serve as a coffin then and be usefull

  45. no.johnny5 says:

    What about falling asleep? [O-O]

  46. Rakhtael says:

    Would all those “Anonymous” who love to complain please use some name when commenting, instead of hiding behind their anonimity? That being said, there’s no way he’d possibly breathe pure oxygen, as the stuff is toxic as hell. In fact, oxygen is the reason why living things age, and it’s also why it’s recommended to drink one glass of wine or beer every day (because it posesses a big amount of antiOXIDANTS).

  47. hez not under water……

  48. alex says:

    the ball he is in is doubled surfaced there is a small opening where they put the water, and put a wall around. then the rest of the container is pure air and the tubes for air is because he needs air or he will run out and the food tube s for affect

  49. Ana-maria says:

    i read in a book once that Henry Hodnie got so good from excalping was his trick was to find a lose spt because when people tie you with robe. they uaslly always use to much rope

  50. mattia says:

    i think actually that hes behind a huge ball! wait no.. hes inside an airpocket, but the outside is painted blue so it looks like hes underwater. tht could be it..

  51. nobody says:

    david blaine thinks he can hold his breath for that long…only chuck norris can do that.

    • matt says:

      chuck norris is like 67 and an AARP member a 10 year old girl could kick his ass now

    • Abob says:

      Matt!!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!! UR JUST SAYIN THT CUZ UR JEALOUS THT CHUCK NORRIS COULD SOOOO BEAT U UP!!!!!!!!!! SHOW SOME APPRECIATION 4 UR ELDERS! IM A NEW AGER AND EVN I HAV RESPECT 4 HIM!!!

  52. nicholas goins says:

    dudes right, chuck norris could hold his breath for 15 minutes no problem, hes the real deal.

  53. Chuck Norris says:

    Chuck Norris requires no oxygen.

  54. vlad says:

    Oxygen requires Chuck Norris

  55. CO2 says:

    Chuck Oxygen Norris

  56. Jason Werner says:

    How’s he gonna go to the bathroom? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

  57. anonyymi says:

    I have not seen the stund but I guess that there is two balls. The volume between those balls fills fully with water but the smaller ball is not filled fully with water so there is still oxygen to breath. The inner ball might also contain some special liquid which also breatable?

    • Jesica says:

      i agree. it is like a fushigi ball. if u move it around, u will have an illusion dat it levitates. dis site should have a fushigi ball

  58. 420 fiend says:

    you are all crazy. Chuck norris sucks! and dont you know how david blane does it? …… Its magic

  59. mismathed says:

    why do people think it’s funny or cool to say ‘chuck norris’? stop being such assholes

    • Avery says:

      OK i got it.theres somthing called super oxygenated water. you actually drown yourself and expierience the feeling of drowning and sense its oxygenated,he can breathe. sort of like a fish.

  60. anonymous says:

    Mismathed your being the asshole just for getting mad at someone for having a little fun

  61. Katie says:

    I think there’s 2 spheres and ones filled with water and the other one is hollow, and he’s in that one :O

  62. anonymous says:

    CHUCK NORRIS IS AWESOME K SO WHOEVER DOESNT LIKE HIM IS AN ASS HOLE

  63. Michael Suggs says:

    I will Karate chop Chuck in the throat. And David used mirrors.

    • Avery says:

      Why is EVERYTHING mirrors????!!!
      OK just shut up every body about mirrors!
      Its like all of the comment pages sais mirrors.

      sigh.

  64. david says:

    that´s really easy there´s two layers in the sphere one thickier than the other and one with water and the other with air. david is in the one with air and the more thick layer has water so when you see it from the outside it you look the more thick laye first than you see him as if he would be in water

  65. LookCarefully says:

    I dont think this is a double-bubble trick – look carefully at a few of the hints. 1) The material of his pants (at the bottom) acts exactly as material does when its submersed. If it was air, gravity would be affecting it and it would be hanging downwards more. Second, he’s breathing from a regulator and the bubbles are in the right position, and the right shape (im a scuba instructor). This looks legit tbh. And chuck norris wouldnt need a bubble, he could blow one out his a$$ and then climb in it :P

  66. mike says:

    are you seriously kidding me? i saw that live he did it new york (or did it again) and YES it was filled with water, YES he did hold his breath (i think the final countdown was just a few seconds shy of 9 minutes) to make sure he was ok during it they annoucned over a speaker every so often to blink, if he couldnt they would pull him out. and it was very very obvious he was in water for a week, it looked like his skin was about to fall off. He couldnt stand on his own.

    For the bathroom question? Catheter

    His “food” was a mix of sugar, water and some other good healthy stuff, dont know exactly. They announced very close to the end that he was drinking substantially more and going to the bathroom almost 5 times more than normal. Water was probably soaking through his skin

  67. Justin says:

    Honestly, it doesn’t take magic to live in a bubble filled with water. It says he used a tube to breathe, a food tube to eat, and the catheter takes care of going to the bathroom. He doesn’t actually do anything magic, he just uses inventions and innovations to survive and calls it magic. As for holding his breathe, that just takes practice

  68. Sabriel says:

    …. um how did he SLEEP or poo for that matter?

  69. Ariadan says:

    The “magic” aprt of the trick would be how he could actually stand being in there for a week. Try spending a couple of hours in a pool, without getting out at all. After a set amount of hours have passed, get out and see how you are. If you’re completely submerged for long period of time, except for when you need to get to the surface to breath, your mind will start playing tricks on you, your skin will have absorbed so much water that it’d peel off really easily and you’ll be exhausted. Now, figure spending a WEEK completely submerged in water. Of course he uses the technology he does, he’s still HUMAN, and no human can survive that long under water and be expected to survive. Now, if it’s magic or not, I don’t care, I’ve already revealed one of his tricks, but it IS a really magnificent feat that he’s accomplished. And, unless I misunderstood, holding his breath for almost 9 minutes by the end of the week, that’s impossible unless you’ve been preparing for it almost all of your life. So don’t go blowing him off just because he claims to be a magician, he still manages to do what you or I couldn’t even DREAM of accomplishing.
    Also.. Chuck Norris doesn’t hold his breath under water, water holds his breath for him.

    • Abob says:

      So true. He muist just be really skilled. Like, ive been practicing all my life and i can hold my breath 4 almost 2 mins if i concentrate on sumthin else and dont look at any clocks etc.

  70. Jake says:

    If he has pure oxygen he can hold his breathe for much longer than normal oxygen. This may have been the reason that he nearly held his breathe for nearly 9 minutes.

  71. ohmygosh says:

    I really don’t like this guy. the stuff he does are just WEIRD and FREAKY and not cool at all. This isn’t ‘magic’ its just using technology and all that crazy stuff to do something people wouldn’t think of doing. Since for US its impossible, when we see him doing it we are like OMG. But seriously, I could imagine him dying from one of these things, it is just STUPID

  72. A says:

    THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!I AM A HUGE DAVID BLAINE FAN!I HEARD ABOUT HIM DOING THIS!AND BY THE WAY OH MY GOSH I CANT BELEIVE YOU DONT LIKE DAVID BLAINE IF HE DID JUST 1 TRICK FOR YOU I PROMISE YOU WOULD KEEL OVER!:(

  73. Dork says:

    I wonder how chuck Norris feels about all these jokes…
    Anyway it’s no trick, just the whim of mind to do so

  74. Magic man says:

    Its a ball inside a ball, the outer ball is filled with water.

    Look at his hair, his hair is clearly not wet ;) His trousers are of a silk like material thats puffed out by thing spring wire that when blown from below with a light and steady flow of air, gives the impression of being under water.

    Blain is an idiot.

    Chuck Norris, Brian Blessed and Bruce Campbell could easily combine there power of awesome and blow the twit away… Sometimes I wish they would.

  75. Shaun says:

    Chuck Norris doesn’t breath… oxygen goes into his lungs so IT can survive

  76. kate says:

    Really? Really? There is no way a 10 year old could frickin beat Chuck Norris’s ass…..it’s just not possible. Get a life…Chuck Norris can single-handedly fight off a band of 100 highly trained and elite chinese ninjas (and you know how good those Chinese ninjas are) and still make it home in time for tea at his mother’s house…even at the age of 67. If you don’t realize that then just wait…He’ll be at your house in 5 minutes, you’ll see the light before you even realize he’s there…

  77. Kevin says:

    Chuck Norris does not breathe, he holds oxygen hostage!chuck-norris-002.jpg

  78. Rose says:

    OMG! Isnt it obvious he is standing behind the ball of water! BTW GET OVER CHUCK NORRIS!

  79. hippocampus says:

    His poop IS chuck norris

  80. Peter North says:

    i love this chuck norris and davin blaine thing lol

  81. He recently did another “stunt” with Tesla Coils. Wouldn’t call it much of a stunt but watched it for the Tesla Coils. lol

  82. nisha says:

    i dont think this is an eye illusion… i watched it live on AXN…

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