As a little experiment, I held my breath before starting the video below.
Being a rotund chap with the cardiovascular fitness of an asthmatic sloth, I made it about thirty seconds in before I felt like I was going to die. Escapologist, illusionist, and deep diver, Christian Wedoy, on the other hand, manages to last over four minutes without breaking a sweat.
That four minutes is actually less than half of the current world record for holding one’s breath without the aid of pure oxygen – the current record stands at 11 minutes and 54 seconds as set by Branko Petrović in 2014 – but those records are set in freezing free dive conditions, not in what looks like a mall. Oh, and Petrović probably didn’t have to pick a bunch of locks while he was setting his record.
We’ve seen Wedoy do this kind of stunt before -in the video above he manages a terrifying five minutes underwater – but there’s something about the setup in this feat that puts my teeth on edge. There’s something viscerally unpleasant about the transparent box filled with water, even if I know on an intellectual level that the box likely has all kinds of safety features built in to prevent Wedoy from drowning in front of a bunch of kids. Still, one of the many secrets to good escapology is a palpable sense of danger, and that unnerving SAW-like setup certainly conveys that.
As a bonus, that kid’s terrified yelp when the wooden stock fell over was hilarious.