Balloons carry David Blaine into the sky for ‘Up’-like stunt

Click to play video: 'Watch as David Blaine floats 9,000 metres above Arizona using jumbo balloons' Watch as David Blaine floats 9,000 metres above Arizona using jumbo balloons
With the help of some helium balloons, illusionist David Blaine was able to soar more than 9,000 metres above the Arizona desert before parachuting safely back down to the ground – Sep 2, 2020

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

No, it’s David Blaine and a few dozen balloons.

The well-known illusionist soared into the sky with a clutch of giant balloons on Wednesday, in a stunt streamed live via YouTube from the desert in Arizona.

“It’s like magic,” he told his team from the sky in Page, Ariz. “It feels like I’m floating in the air.”

He was floating thanks to 52 large, helium-filled balloons made from latex and arranged to carry his weight high into the sky. Blaine appeared to hold onto the balloons with one hand as part of his latest stunt, which was recorded by a series of cameras rigged throughout the balloons.

Read more: Airline pilots report ‘guy in a jetpack’ flying past them near LAX

Story continues below advertisement

The 47-year-old is well-known for pulling off seemingly impossible feats of endurance, such as trapping himself in ice or locking himself in a fishbowl filled with water.

His balloon stunt, called “Ascension,” was originally slated to take place in New York City, but he moved it to Arizona amid concerns about wind conditions. He says the stunt was inspired by the 1956 film The Red Balloon, although most modern audiences will probably be more familiar with a similar occurrence from Pixar’s Up.

Blaine says he hadn’t seen Up until very recently.

Blaine’s daughter, Dessa, was on-hand to wish her dad well for his takeoff.

“Love you,” Blaine told the girl as he handed her the first weight, which triggered his ascent.

Illusionist David Blaine can be seen hanging from a balloon apparatus while speaking to his daughter Dessa, left, in Arizona on Sept. 2, 2020. David Blaine/YouTube

He slowly shed more weights over 30 minutes, ascending ever higher until he was approximately 9,000 metres above the Earth, Reuters reports.

Story continues below advertisement

Blaine’s crew on the ground spoke often during the broadcast about the risks of soaring too high, including low oxygen levels and cold temperatures.

Illusionist David Blaine soars over the desert in Arizona on a balloon rig on Sept. 2, 2020. David Blaine/YouTube

Blaine ended the stunt by releasing the balloons and parachuting back down.

“This was all for you,” he told Dessa after touching down on solid ground again.

Read more: Russian astronaut on the ISS claims to see UFOs in new footage

Millions tuned into YouTube to watch the stunt live or catch the highlights after it was complete. It was Blaine’s first live stunt in several years.

“Wow, that was awesome!” he said afterward.

Most of the balloons were made from latex and one faux fiberglass balloon hid a parachute and oxygen tank, USA Today reports.

Story continues below advertisement

Sponsored content