Magician David Blaine set a new world record for holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds today in Chicago on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
“A lifelong dream,” a glad David Blaine, 35, told Oprah moments after setting the record in a water-filled sphere. “I can’t believe that I did that.”
Blaine, clad in a silver wet suit, entered an acrylic sphere filled with 1,800 gallons of water and spent the first 23 minutes inhaling pure oxygen, packing his lungs with extra oxygen just before the breathing tubes were removed.
Blaine said he reached a meditative state while submerged, with help from the stage lights reflecting off the sphere. But hearing his heartbeat left him more conscious, he said, adding "I was pretty much here the whole time."
Blaine also said he was aware that his heart was beating irregularly toward the end of the stunt.
Less than two years ago, Blaine went into convulsions during a similar attempt. The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 secondsset set earlier this year in Switzerland by Peter Colat.
"There's no enhancement, no cheating," he told Winfrey, adding that while he makes his living as a magician, the stunts he does are not about magic but about pushing the limits of the human body.
David Blaine's Underwater Stunt on Oprah Winfrey's show