David Blaine completes daredevil balloon stunt over Arizona desert

It was the magician's first stunt in 10 years

Magician David Blaine has completed his latest daredevil stunt this week, called “Ascension”.

Now live on his YouTube channel, the video shows Blaine floating over the desert in Page, Arizona, piloting 52 helium-filled balloons at an altitude of roughly 8,000 feet.

The full clip clocks in at just under three hours on YouTube, and begins with the warning, “This is a research and development flight test demonstration.”

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Check out the video here:

Blaine narrated the experience through his own mic for the duration of Ascension, liaising with a team on the ground as he rose up to 15,000 feet. The magician let go of the balloons once at 24,900 and descended via parachute, landing near an airport.

He explained that his latest stunt was inspired by a French short film from 1956 called Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon).

Ascension was originally planned to take place in New York, where Blaine is originally from, on August 31. The stunt was then relocated to Arizona due to weather conditions and further safety concerns.

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“This stunt has been 10 years in the making,” Blaine had previously tweeted, announcing the stunt. “Let’s turn worry into wonder and take magic to new heights.”

Last year, David Blaine embarked on his first ever tour across the UK and Ireland. The ‘Real Or Magic’ tour had promised fans “death-defying stunts”.

Blaine is well-known for his ambitious public stunts, which included a period of time in a suspended glass box in London (‘Above the Below’ performed in 2003) and being buried alive for one week in New York (‘Buried Alive’ in 1999).

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