David Blaine

Ricky Gervais Needle Trick


In one of his most amazing performances in his TV special Real or Magic, David Blaine sticks a huge needle straight through his arm right in front of Ricky Gervais. He starts pushing it into his arm on one hand, and after some time in comes out on the other side of his hand. He then asks Ricky Gervais to help him get the needle out of his arm. Gervais, visibly shocked, starts pulling the needle out. When he pulls the entire needle out, there is no blood and no signs of injury anywhere on Blane's arm.

Blane stays completely chilled out the entire time, watching with amusement when Ricky Gervais obviously cannot believe his eyes. Ricky's disbelief is not strange at all. After all, he just saw Blane stab himself with a needle and basically push it through his whole arm. But he still finds it so convincing that he cannot figure out how this could be a trick in any way. He is left completely amazed.

Look at this amazing performance in the video. Watch out, it can be quite disturbing if you are soft-hearted! After you view the performance, check the explanation below.



Now this trick is really special. We tried to figure out any way this could be done and at first we simply came up with no plausible ideas. A special implant on the other side of his arm maybe?

But then how did the movement of the needle get coordinated so nicely on both sides? While there is a slight chance that this is the correct solution, we now think this is probably not a trick at all.

I know what you are thinking. We're always explaining how there is no real magic, only magic tricks. Are we now saying that this was real magic?

Not at all. However, in our research of this trick, we've discovered a medical phenomenon which can explain this performance best. It is called a fistula. In this case, a fistula is simply a path of scar tissue that goes through Blane's arm. This path allows for the needle to pass through his arm without damage or blood.

But by now you probably think we've gone completely insane. So let's look at a shocking historical example of a fistula: a man who had a fistula through his body. This enabled him to have swords stabbed trough his body without harming him.

Don't believe us? Look at this fascinating video of him getting stabbed with swords:

Crazy, right? But this provides us with a reasonable explanation for Blane's needle trick. He has a fistula through his arm. He created this fistula to himself, by repeatedly causing small damage to his arm in the same direction, probably by actually stabbing a needle into it.

So this gives us a rare exception to our general rule of »there is no magic, only tricks«. Sometimes, a really crazy and dedicated magician will actually do something crazy like this to take his performance to another level. David Blaine is such a guy. He basically drilled a tube of scar tissue through his arm just so he could perform this one trick. Now that's some dedication!

Other tricks by David Blaine

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