Buried Alive/Suspended Animation

While Houdini was adding a buried alive act to his repertoire at the end of his career, there were many who came before and after him taking on the dangers of self burial and forced isolation, and the endurance test of staying in the ground or in a box for days, even months at a time.

David Blaine performed a stunt he called Above The Below-- housing himself in a 3ft x 7ft x 7ft box for 44 days starting on September 5, 2003. Blaine was sealed inside a transparent plexiglas case and was suspended 30 feet in the air on the bank of the River Thames in London. He went without food for the duration of the stunt, surviving on just 4.5 liters of water per day. On removal he was 60 pounds lighter – with symptoms of starvation including depleted organ and bone mass, heart palpitations, breathing problems and loss of skin pigmentation. In the final days of his self-inflicted captivity he could taste pear drops, a medical quirk caused by ketones produced when the body is forced to begin burning its fat reserves.