David Blaine is able to spit out living frogs, right out his mouth, and swallow them again right after. He’s done it multiple times, even on live TV. I’ll explain how he did the frog trick and describe the technique he’s using to make it possible.
In short, here’s how he does the frog trick:
David Blaine can do the trick by actually swallowing the frog before the show and bringing it back up at will. He uses a technique called “professional regurgitation”, that allows him to control his esophagus and abdomen.
Let’s take a look at his performance first, and I’ll explain the technique right after.
But there’s one thing I can already tell you: he doesn’t use any tricks, he actually swallows the frog.
David Blaine’s performances of the frog trick
David Blaine has shown this amazing magic trick multiple times, sometimes even on live TV. These are some of his most popular performances:
- He’s done it for Drake, Steph Curry, & Dave Chappelle
- On the Joe Rogan Experience
- And on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
You can find many videos all over the internet of him doing the trick, I’ve decided to put his performance for Drake in here.
You can watch David Blaine doing the frog trick in this video:
As you probably know, most magicians use sleight of hand and other sneaky moves to accomplish their acts.
However, this isn’t the case for every performer.
David Blaine, who has done uncountable dangerous tricks, is known for his insane stunts, pushing his body to its limits. You can read how he is able to eat real glass in this post.
Just like with many other tricks, he usually actually does the things you see, he doesn’t fake them. It’s the same with the frog swallowing – he’s learned to control his stomach and bring it small objects at will.
You can see the control he has over his stomach and mouth in many other videos as well, but more to that later.
Let’s take a look at his technique.
David Blaine’s frog trick explained: How he did it
First of all: there are many other performers who have done similar tricks, most of them performed in the 20th century.
The technique he uses for his frog trick is called “Professional Regurgitation”. It allows him to swallow small objects and animals, and bring them back up at will.
David Blaine claimed that one of his inspirations for his trick is the performance artist Hadji Ali who lived from around 1890 – 1937. He was known for his incredible control over his stomach and did many different regurgitation tricks, including water-spouting, and handkerchief swallowing.
David has proven many times that he’s able to achieve unbelievable control over his body, and it’s the same thing with this trick.
Knowing that a trick like this is actually possible, without any illusions or sleight of hand, David got inspired and decided to learn this skill.
To achieve the frog trick, David had to be able to not only swallow the frog properly but also get him back up alive as well.
The techniques: How David Blaine can control his stomach
Basically, there are two different things you have to learn when doing a regurgitation trick.
First, you have to learn to control your gag reflex and swallow small items or even animals.
Second, you need to be able to bring them back up at will.
Let’s take a look at both of these technqiues and how they work.
Learning to control the gag reflex
Controlling the gag reflex is the first step for a trick like this since David has to swallow the entire frog.
In one of his videos, you could see him practicing to control his gag reflex with small potatoes. However, he’s done other tricks that required similar skills as well, he had a good prerequisite for his frog trick.
Whenever you see him doing his performance, most of the people around him start to gag or try to leave the room.
The first step is to over the disgust you feel when you imagine putting a living frog inside your mouth.
David Blaine did it (I’m not surprised) and the final challenge was to bring the frog back up at will.
Bringing the frog back up at will
This is the hardest part because it requires David Blaine to have control over his esophagus. He had to learn to contract the muscles inside his body, allowing him to move the frog around and bring it back up.
I’ve found this video that explains all of the trick and the part with the esophagus really well:
The performers have to learn to voluntarily open the upper esophageal sphincter, which is supposed to keep the food we eat down, away from our windpipe.
On top of that, it’s necessary to contract muscles in the abdomen to create upward pressure on the contents of the stomach and the lower esophageal.
To bring the frog back up at will, David Blaine needs to control his upper esophageal sphincter and contract muscles in the abdomen.
Learning a technqiue like this is incredibly challenging and shows how commited David Blaine really is with his tricks.
Final thougths on his frog trick
When I saw this trick for the first time, I was pretty convinced that it’s only a trick. I expexted some sleight of hand or maybe another method I don’t know.
The only thing that surprised was how real it looked when David did the trick.
Well, turns out, I looked so real because it actually is. After all the magic David Blaine has done, I’m not even surprised anymore that he’s able to control his entire stomach.
He’s known for pusing his body and himself to the limits, and it’s just the same with this trick. If you are interested in reading a little more about him, you can check my post about how he’s able to eat glass by clicking this link.
But as you maybe already expected, he basically just eats the glass like normal food.
Expect he might cause damage to many parts of his body, leading to internal bleeding and many other things you really don’t want as a normal person.
But what can you do – that’s just the way he is.
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