Magician and endurance artist David Blaine has been in the public eye since he first appeared on ABC over 20 years ago. Since then, some of his tricks and secrets have been revealed.
Blaine will be returning to TV screens tonight, April 1 at 10 p.m. with a new special titled “David Blaine: The Magic Way.” In the special, he’ll show off some of his tricks to celebrity friends in order to shock them.
Some of the celebrities appearing in the special are John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Tom Brady, Dr. Dre, Jamie Foxx and James Corden. There will be more appearances throughout the one-hour special as well.
Blaine May Have Built Up Extra Scar Tissue in Areas of His Body
Blaine’s magic tricks sometimes involve sticking needles into various parts of his body, like the time where he skewered his arm in front of Ricky Gervais. It may have taken more preparation than some other tricks, though.
Some sources suggest that Blaine would have had to identify a pathway through his arm that didn’t contain any major arteries or veins. After that, he would have had to repeatedly pierce himself in that same area to create an extended area of scar tissue and an artificial pathway through his flesh.
The same method may have been used when he put an ice pick through his hand. If he is to be believed, that was the method he used, according to The Telegraph.
“I got used to passing [a needle] through my hand, over and over. I wanted to feel comfortable with it,” he said. He added that he did not do that daily because if a nerve is hit with this method, your hand is “out of action for a little bit.”
He started with a smaller needle, but then he would increase their width on a step-by-step basis to lead up to an ice pick.
Other sources have suggested he may have been lying, though. He may have instead used some type of mechanical trickery.
Blaine Trained Rigorously in Order to Hold His Breath for 17 Minutes
There was no magic involved in Blaine’s 2008 attempt to hold his breath for 17 minutes. Before attempting the trick, Blaine met with a neurosurgeon who told him if he went without air for over six minutes, he would be risking brain damage. Blaine took the risk, he told his audience during a later TED talk.
After first attempting the stunt on TV in 2006 in what was an attempt gone wrong due to producers insisting he also be handcuffed, Blaine decided to train for two more years in order to actually be able to do the trick.
He began to sleep in a hypoxic tent each night, which is a tent that simulates altitude at 15,000 feet.
“What that does is, you start building up the red blood cell count in your body, which helps you carry oxygen better. Every morning, again, after getting out of that tent, your brain is completely wiped out. My first attempt on pure O2, I was able to go up to 15 minutes. So, it was a pretty big success,” he said.
He was later able to hold his breath for 17 minutes and four-and-a-half seconds in icy water.
He also has said he really does swallow live frogs for the trick where he later spits them out.