Illusionist David Blaine started his career as a street magician, wowing onlookers and assembled crowds with elaborate sleights of hand and card tricks. But he became internationally famous when he started doing what he calls "endurance art"—death-defying stunts that test the limits of the human body.
In his first blockbuster event in 1999, David lived in a clear coffin for a week. The coffin was buried in a New York City sidewalk. In 2000, he was encased in a block of ice in Times Square for 63 hours with no food or sleep. In 2002, he spent 36 hours standing atop a 90-foot pillar in midtown Manhattan and suffered a concussion when he leapt off into a pile of cardboard boxes. In 2003, David went to London, where he spent 44 days without food or water, suspended in a glass box hanging over the River Thames.
In 2006, David lived underwater for a week. Afterward, he tried to break the record for breath holding while trying to free himself from shackles and chains. After seven minutes, he showed signs of distress. To save his life, emergency divers had to pull him out before he could free himself.
David's latest attempt is equally dangerous. He will try to break the Guinness World Record for holding his breath underwater. The current record was set just weeks ago in Switzerland by Peter Colat. To beat him, David will have to hold his breath for more than 16 and a half minutes!