Magician breaks breath-holding world record
Magician David Blaine sets a new world record by holding his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds. The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set by Switzerland's Peter Colat.Updated: May 01, 2008, 13:32 IST
Magician David Blaine has set a new world record for breath-holding: 17 minutes and 4 seconds.
The feat was broadcast live on Wednesday during "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and the studio audience cheered as divers pulled Blaine from a water-filled sphere.
He looked relaxed afterward and said the record was "a lifelong dream."
The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set on February 10 by Switzerland's Peter Colat, according to Guinness World Records.
Before he entered the sphere, Blaine inhaled pure oxygen through a mask to saturate his blood with oxygen and flush out carbon dioxide. Guinness says that up to 30 minutes of so-called "oxygen hyperventilation" is allowed under their guidelines.
Blaine took on a Zen-like appearance in the water tank as the minutes ticked, but Winfrey was anything but calm.
She fidgeted in her chair, pursed her lips, placed her head in her hands, and kept seeking reassurance from the doctor at her side about the 35-year-old magician's persistently high heart rate.
"I'll be glad when it's over. I don't like suspense," she told the audience during a commercial break.
She told Blaine the endurance feat was "nerve-racking to witness."
Next, Blaine said that he plans to try to break the world record for staying awake. The current record is 11 days, he said. However, Guinness said that it no longer acknowledges such attempts because of health concerns.