How does David Blaine eat glass? (Explaining his technique)

David Blaine is a world-famous magician who has eaten glass several times in his performances. I will explain how he did it and whether or not he actually used real glass for his tricks.

So, in short, how can David Blaine eat glass?

David Blaine can eat real glass by chewing the pieces using only his teeth. As soon as they are ground up enough, he can swallow them without damaging his mouth or body.

Every performance of this act could cause a lot of damage to his mouth and body. Never try this trick at home.

In case you are interested in learning more about glass eating and how other performers do it, you can read my post about it here.

But let’s get started with the glass-eating performances of David Blaine now, shall we?

David Blaine eating Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wine glass

He has performed his glass-eating trick several times in front of different audiences, including Jeff Bezos, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

David Blaine usually just borrows a glass for his performance, to show that he can’t use a prepared one with fake glass.

Here’s the video of him doing the trick for Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Eating Glass with Arnold Schwarzenegger | David Blaine

Most of his other acts are done the same way. He borrows a glass, usually a wine glass, and drinks the rest of it before taking a bite.

In most cases, he swallows the glass and shows his empty mouth before continuing with another trick.

Explaining the technique David Blaine uses for eating glass

Before I explain how he did it, I just want to mention real quick that it’s extremely dangerous to eat glass. Even professional performers have hurt themselves during their acts, so never try this trick at home!

Quick tip
Depending on which performance you watch, some magicians might actually use fake glass for their trick. It's a lot safer, but it still looks like real glass.

Whenever David Blaine performs his trick, he just borrows a glass from someone else. This makes it impossible for him to prepare it or use a fake glass, which answers a very common question about this act:

Is he using real glass for his tricks?

While you never really know for sure, I’m pretty convinced:

Yes. He does use real glass.

As I already mentioned, he usually just uses a glass by someone else for his performance, which makes it impossible to fake it.

It’s not that uncommon for magicians or even street performers to eat glass, and it’s a pretty old trick as well. As long as you know what you are doing and take your time chewing the glass, the trick can definitely be done with real glass.

How David Blaine can eat and swallow the glass without getting hurt

The thing that makes this trick so dangerous is the fact that the tongue and mouth are so vulnerable and tender. Even just biting yourself is very painful, but cutting anything in your mouth will be even worse.

Using only the teeth when chewing the glass is what makes this trick possible.

As soon as any piece of the glass touches the tongue or other parts in the mouth, David Blaine would most likely cut himself.

Another aspect is the thickness of the glass. The thinner the glass, the better, because it can be chewed a lot easier. This is why most performers, including David Blaine, use wine glasses for their acts. Another option is light bulbs because their glass is very thin as well.

How he can chew the glass without cutting himself

Whenever you put pieces of glass in your mouth, there is a risk that you cut yourself. There’s just no way around it. This means, in theory, David Blaine can always cut himself, every single time he performs his glass-eating trick.

However, David Blaine reduces the risk by using the proper technique:

The most important thing for David Blaine when taking a bite of the glass is to never let the pieces come close to his tongue. Using only his teeth, he can now chew the pieces until they are ground up quite finely.

It’s like crunching the glass until there’s nothing left other than fine powder, almost like sand. It’s still dangerous to do it, but as long as he uses only his teeth, he can actually chew the glass without getting hurt.

As soon as there is only the powder left, he can swallow all of it.

Please note: In case he doesn’t chew enough and there are a few small pieces leftover, he can cause some serious damage to his mouth and body. Don’t try this trick at home!

How he can actually swallow the glass after chewing it

Now, once the glass pieces are ground up, David Blaine can swallow them pretty safely.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still risky, but as long as he doesn’t miss any large glass pieces, he usually won’t hurt himself.

Quick tip
One trick that makes swallowing the glass easier is using butter or other fats. You can eat a small amount before the performance, which will act like lubricant when swallowing the glass. 

Other than eating fat to make the swelling easier, he might also use soft bread or bananas to kind of “collect” the glass pieces inside his body. It’s never safe to have glass pieces inside your system, but you can reduce the risk.

Why it’s so dangerous to eat real glass

Let me get this clear:

Every performance of this trick could cause some serious internal damage to the body of David Blaine.

Even missing just one small piece when chewing the glass in his mouth could be extremely dangerous. Since the glass has to through the entire system, many parts of the body could be damaged, leading to internal bleeding, and other bad things I don’t want to list here.

Keep in mind that most performers use fake glass for their acts, made out of ingredients that can’t damage the body.

If you want to learn more about glass eating in general or how you can perform this trick with a safe alternative, make sure to check my post right here.

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