David Blaine is known for his career as an illusionist and an endurance artist. In 2006 he tried to beat a Guinness World Record for holding his breath underwater in his grand “Drowned Alive” attempt before the eyes of hundreds of people at the Lincoln Center in New York. He was unable to fulfill his dream of breaking the record then, but set his first Guinness World Record two years later.
After the failed attempt, Blaine announced he would try to beat the new record of 16 minutes and 32 seconds without breathing, set by Peter Colat. Before his second attempt, the illusionist spent 23 minutes inhaling pure oxygen in order to succeed in his quest. It’s not clear whether meditation, oxygen hyperventilation or magic was what really did the trick, but Blaine managed to stay underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds in a water sphere.