David Blaine Uses 52 Balloons to Float Above Arizona Desert

Mahlik Campbell

entertainment /
NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Illusionist David Blaine raises money for Haiti with a 72 hour Magic Marathon at Military Island, Times Square on January 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Illusionist and thrill-seeker David Blaine returned with his latest stunt on Wednesday that looked like a deleted scene from the movie Up.

Dubbed "Ascension," Mr. Blaine strapped himself to 52 huge helium-filled balloons and hovered tens of thousands of feet into the morning sky above the Arizona desert. I mean, every kid has had this fantasy at least once.

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Though he was initially aiming for an altitude of 18,000 feet, Blaine pushed all the way to 23,000 feet and braced temperatures below zero degrees before releasing himself into a free fall and safely parachuting back to earth. 

Adding to the undeniable sketchiness, Blaine joyfully unhooked himself from the mess of balloons 200 feet too early!

"I want it to look like a kid just holding on to balloons," Blaine simply told Joe Rogan last month when talking about the inspiration behind the adventure, which initially included the ridiculous goal of reaching the same height – 29,029 feet – as the peak of Mount Everest. 

"Like, that visual is the important part. So the parachute is up in the balloons but once I get above, like, 1,000 feet or so, I'm going to put the parachute on in the air and then I wanna see how high I can go."

The event – streamed and fully funded via YouTube – was originally supposed to happen in New York but was relocated for logistical reasons.  

I f you haven't already, you can watch "Ascension" below. For even more David Blaine content, relive the time he made Drake, Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle and others cringe by spitting up frogs.