David Blaine Injured: Every Time His Stunts Went Wrong

The magician and stuntman gives his all to his magic, and it sometimes ends with a new injury.

David Blaine in pain on stage floor surrounded by doctors with a dislocated shoulder
David Blaine w/Dislocation

A friend of your author once remarked that watching David Blaine was the closest our generation will get to watching Houdini–he’s a performer who takes legitimate risks. How many times have you watched a magician proclaim something as dangerous and actually been nervous? In fact, it seems that the more a magician hype’s up the danger of their stunt, the less we believe it. 

But Blaine’s complete understatement obfuscates the actual risk behind what he’s doing. Ever since his show, David Blaine: In Spades opened at Resorts World last year, Blaine injured himself, for real, on stage, multiple times. He proved through his actions that injury was a legitimate risk, and kept performing. 

So, for those of you who are curious, here’s a complete list of the times David Blaine has injured himself, organized chronologically:

Drowned Alive (May, 2006)

On May 1st, 2006, David Blaine submerged himself in a water tank at Lincoln Center in New York and attempted to break the world record for holding his breath (8 minutes and 58 seconds). Blaine had to be pulled from the tank after 7 minutes and 8 seconds when it became clear that he was blacking out. Blaine was ok, and it’s good that the medical team pulled him rather than letting him drown. 

The Bullet Catch (August, 2015)

Unlike most magicians, David Blaine decided that he wanted to do a bullet catch for real. How? By having a dentist design a special bulletproof, steel mouthpiece that could catch a bullet without going through the other side of his skull. He added a pulley system so that he could pull a string that pulled the trigger, meaning no one but himself would be responsible if he got injured or died. 

Live in front of 20,000 people at the MGM grand, Blaine took a real gun, with a real bullet, and shot himself in the mouth. The mouthpiece shattered, and for a few seconds, Blaine “thought he was dead.” He luckily survived the incident, and his team changed his mind on ever performing it again (he wanted to do it on tour).

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