17 Minutes Under Water and Still Breathing!!!

What people can do when they focus on an extreme goal is truly amazing. David Blaine held his breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds on national television on the Oprah Show in 2010, and he contributes all of his perpetration and health record to science research. David Blaine is a magician and stuntman, so most thought is a trick. However, his talk at the TED conference in 2010 takes you second my second through Blaine’s preparation and execution. Discovering that past 6 minutes of no oxygen brain damage occurs, attempting to constantly flush his blood to increase oxygen levels, attempting to insert a rebreather with a Co2 scrubber into his lungs; Blaine began to see that there was no way to establish an illusion of holding your breath. So he turned to free diving and static apnea (holding your breath in one place without moving). Learning how to purge (blow in and out, ridding your body of Co2) entering into an extremely intense diet to rid all extra weight and improve his lung capacity Blaine began to hold his breath.  After four months of training his heart rate lowered to 38 beats per minute that is lower than most Olympic athletes. As a result he could hold his breath for 7 minutes at this point. In training attempts to hold his breath Blaine’s heart rate drops from 38 beats per minute to 12 beats per minute after the first minute. However when it came time to complete the stunt on television Blaine’s heart rate started at 120 beats per minute and stayed at this level for 5 minutes, and it continue to rise to 150. At 10 minutes blood shunting began to occur after 14 minutes he had an “urge to breath” his chest would uncontrollable contract, and ischemia began to set in. At the end of the day David Blaine went from being obsessed with Houdini to surpassing Houdini’s underwater record (3 min 30 sec) by the age of 8 years old to now setting the new world record for holding your breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds.

3 thoughts on “17 Minutes Under Water and Still Breathing!!!

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