Tuesday, May 02, 2006

David Blaine Breathtaking Stunt

Take a deep breath. David Blaine's latest stunt is spending a week living in an acrylic sphere filled with water.

The 33-year-old magician, shirtless and with an oxygen tube in his mouth, slid into his snow globe-like "human aquarium" Monday at Lincoln Center. In a week, he will remove the device and attempt to hold his breath underwater longer than the record of eight minutes, 58 seconds.

He also will try to escape from 68 kilograms of chains and handcuffs during the breath-holding finale, which will air live in a two-hour ABC special, David Blaine: Drowned Alive, on May 8 (8 p.m. EDT).

"As a kid, I always was obsessed with Houdini," Blaine explained Monday.

"I don't think about death, but I am prepared for it," he said, adding that his only fear is "the fear of the unknown."

Blaine said he started training in December, with some help from U.S. Navy SEALS. He lost 50 pounds so his body would require less oxygen.

The water in the sphere will be kept at a balanced temperature to help keep his core temperature near 37 C. His gear includes a diving helmet that allows two-way communication with his support team.

Blaine invites visitors to stop by and wave at him. The water should be nice and clear; he will be fed and, uh, relieve himself by tubes.

His previous feats of endurance include balancing on a small platform for 35 hours, being buried alive in a see-through coffin for a week and surviving inside a massive block of ice for 61 hours. In 2003, he fasted for 44 days in a suspended acrylic box over the Thames River in London.

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