David Blaine set a new world record Wednesday for breath-holding â€” 17 minutes and 4 seconds â€” fulfilling what he said was “a lifelong dream.”
The feat was broadcast live during “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the studio audience cheered as divers pulled the 35-year-old magician from a water-filled sphere 8 feet in diameter. Less than two years ago, Blaine went into convulsions during a similar attempt.
“A lifelong dream,” a relaxed-looking Blaine told Winfrey immediately after setting the record. “I can’t believe that I did that.”
While still underwater, Blaine worried his heart rate might be too high, saying he “actually started to doubt that I was going to make it” as a result. A lower heart rate helps minimize oxygen consumption.
The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set Feb. 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 up to 30 minutes of so-called “oxygen hyperventilation” is allowed under its guidelines.
Since he’s a professional magician, it seems more than possible that this alleged record may really have been a trick.