And he just broke a record in the middle of the stunt too.
After locking himself inside a human-sized fishbowl, standing freely atop a New York City pillar for 35 hours, and trapping himself in a block of ice, David Blaine returned to the spotlight last Wednesday with perhaps his most dangerous act of endurance to date, “Ascension.”
The entire feat was filmed and live-streamed on YouTube Originals, which you can watch here:
The concept is simple: Blaine strapped himself onto a huddle of gigantic inflated balloons, and ascended from a desert in Arizona and up into the air to reach nearly 25,000 feet, near the height wherein most commercial airplanes soar.
Similar to the animated movie, Up, Blaine slowly released small weights to hasten his way up. Then, halfway through his ascent, he wore a parachute and an oxygen mask. Just as he was about to reach his peak altitude, he freed himself from the balloon cluster, free-fell for about 30 seconds, and then deployed his parachute to gradually glide onto a designated landing spot.
The high-risk, high-profile performance even broke YouTube Original’s record for the most-watched live event, garnering over 770,000 viewers on September 2.
In a radio interview post-performance, Blaine shared that he has trained for the stunt for two years, even becoming a licensed pilot in the process.
Before Ascension, Blaine’s last live-broadcasted exhibition of endurance was Electrified: One Million Volts Always On in 2012, where he wore a chainmail Faraday suit and for 72 hours stood steadily atop a pillar encircled by seven Tesla coils which can produce a continuous charge of one million volts.
After six grueling months in quarantine, we leave it to no other than David Blaine to show us how to escape our homes and still maintain social distancing — around 7,600 meters apart.