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David Blaine's Vertigo

From ten stories high in Bryant Park, David Blaine took a 35 hour stand.


David Blaine is among the most controversial magicians today. He is both loved and loathed by audiences and fellow magicians alike. Some criticize him for his lack of technical skill. Others feel that his "tricks" such as Frozen In Time and Magic Man are merely publicity stunts.

Regardless of what people believe to be David Blaine's motives, he is certainly a commercial success and his latest stunt was aired on ABC on May 22, 2002.

For this most recent challenge David Blaine perched himself upon a free standing pillar, 22 inches in diameter for 35 hours. He went without food and water for the duration of the challenge and even urinated via a catheter. As if this was not challenge enough, David Blaine then made his dismount from the pillar by jumping into cardboard boxes. The jump was aired live on ABC.

David Blaine was not harnessed to the column in any way -- the only safety precaution were two handles placed at his feet, which he could grip in the event of strong winds. Blaine is often said to try to emulate the legendary magician, Harry Houdini. David Blaine's public spectacles tend more toward endurance tests (in the past he has been frozen in a block of ice for 61 hours and been buried underground for a week) than magical tricks.

In preparation for this challenge, David Blaine trained extensively. He fasted to lower his body weight, practiced jumping from successively increasing heights, and even broke a couple ribs and got whiplash in the process.

At 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday night, David Blaine jumped from the platform into a pile of cardboard boxes waiting below. A huge crowd of spectators had convened in New York City's Bryant Park to watch the event. David Blaine emerged from the boxes seemingly safe and was taken away in an ambulance.

Next page > Pictures of David Blaine in Bryant Park > 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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