Stuntman and illusionist David Blaine’s latest trick involves chain mail, iron boots and one million volts of electricity. The event, dubbed “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On,” will have Blaine spend three days at Manhattan’s Pier 54 while standing in the middle of electric currents streamed by Tesla cords. Along with standing up and staying awake, the performer will have to avoid touching his face or else risk giving himself the shock of a lifetime.
Blaine will also have to survive without food, but NBC reports he’ll remain out of harm’s way. While standing on a platform 20 feet in the air, Blaine will wear a Farraday suit, a suit of stainless-steel chain mail that acts as an electric conductor but also protects him from any of the danger the electric current produces.
“He has a conducting suit, all the current is going through the suit, nothing through his body,” said John Blecher, a physicist at MIT. “There is no danger in this that I see. I would do it, and I am 69 years old and risk-averse. I would just have to take a nap.”
During a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session earlier this week, Blaine said the one trick he would like to try but will never be able to is the world record for sleep deprivation: it’s just too scary, he said. Still, this weekend’s trick is one that he’s been excited for.
“I had wanted to do this for years,” he told reporters Tuesday. “Being in the middle of a lightning storm, it feels so amazing, being in an environment you shouldn’t be in.”
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He also credited the educational value with being one of his motivators.
“I think it’s good to bring the kids and explain to the kids who [Serbian scientist] Tesla is, why he’s amazing and explain what alternating currents are,” said Blaine, apparently unconcerned about the risk, to NPR’s On The Media.
The event, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by the international media, will be broadcast live in its entirety online for Blaine’s fans around the world. Click here to watch.
“We have these computers, the Ultrabooks that Intel gave us to control the entire environment,” Blaine said of his decision to make the event available for streaming. “You can push buttons and affect the arcs, affect the power, you can affect the electricity circuits.”
Blaine has previously been encased in a block of ice and buried beneath a 3.5 ton tank of water in New York City, just two of the many feats he’s performed.