He’s performed street magic, been buried alive, held his breath under water for seven minutes, and starved himself for 44 days in a case suspending thirty feet in the air. What other life-threatening stunt can David Blaine possibly do? Just last week he stood in the middle of one million volts of electricity for three days and managed to survive.
The recent stunt, entitled “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On,” started on Oct. 5 and lasted until Oct. 8 and included 39-year-old Blaine standing still for 72 hours wearing a chainmail outfit in the middle of one million volts of electricity.
Blaine wore a Faraday suit, a wire helmet, and a visor to protect his eyes. He was connected to a ventilation system to give him oxygen. He also wore noise-cancelling earphones so he could hear and communicate with his viewers.
Hundreds of people came to view Blaine doing all he could to stay awake on a platform in West Manhattan’s Pier 54.
Standing for three days straight in electric current with no food and little water (which he drank through a tube) has its risks. Although the electricity-conducting chainmail suit protected Blaine, there was still a chance he may be electrocuted, in which the tesla coils would’ve been shut down.
However, Blaine said his biggest fear going into it was that he could hallucinate from lack of sleep and unconsciously rub his eyes or touch his face, resulting in electrocution. Experts said their biggest concern wasn’t about the electricity, but Blaine having to stand for three days straight.
“He’s going in and out of consciousness every five seconds. He’s getting very, very tired. Perhaps the worst thing is really that he’s standing in one place, and your legs don’t get very much circulation in that situation,” said Blaine’s producing partner Stephen Chao during the final hours of the feat.
Although Blaine has completed stunts in the past that have lasted longer than three days, such as living in a box for 44 days and spending seven days and nights in a human aquarium– he stayed awake the longest during this stunt.
During the stunt, the power was generated by the public using Ultrabook devices. Through the Intel Corp. sponsorship, people were able to control the intensity of the light and sound produced by the tesla coils. These fans were able to cheer him on, which helped Blaine stay awake.
After fighting to stay awake and refrain from collapsing, Blaine was helped down and could walk with assistance. He went to the hospital to be examined, and spent the night there to recuperate.
Many people wonder why anyone would want to risk their life not just once, but numerous times. “It’s like me trying to push my own limits. I don’t really think there’s a point to trying to push yourself further on things that you do, but I think it just feels fun; it gives you a drive or a motivation so I’m always trying to do that,” Blaine said.