How does David Blaine do the needle trick?

Is it a secret talent?

In his 2012 documentary, The Adventure Zone, the Guinness World Record holder says: “I do the trick in the most efficient way on the biggest number of needles in the world with the smallest amount of time and I don’t go through the motions.”

So how does he do it? The first of a number of different versions of his trick with his fingers.

Image caption David Blaine claims he has invented a needle trick no-one else can.

A number of versions

The first, which he performed over 20,000 times, is done in an unusual manner. His fingers are held together like two-dimensional letters.

Instead of letting his fingers curl and pull themselves together as the fingers do in a normal position, David uses his fingertips to twist and tug at his fingers and make the letters move in response.

“The idea is to create two-dimensional letters, just like if your pen was a letter,” he says. “So the letters should be moving in response to the pressure on them and the pressure on your hand.

In this way we can create the letters of a language that no-one else is able to. David Blaine

“I think that’s more than I can say with any other hand position.

“In a normal handshake, if you want your fingers to move it will involve the joint of your upper and lower fingers, and those two jointed fingers and that’s where a lot of the movement happens.

“So, in this version it’s all about the fingertips and how they interact with one another.”

The second version involves a similar combination of finger positioning and the movement of his fingers in response to pressure. It is performed by a series of smaller twists and clicks of the fingers with the finger tips rotating in tandem.
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David claims he holds the most powerful hand strength of anyone in the world. The Guinness World Record holder told reporters in 2012: “The most powerful hand strength in the world is in my left hand.”

His hand strength is not the only thing that helps David – he is also very proficient at spinning his body around in a spiral motion, with the tips of his fingers pointing inwards. David performs this with his right wrist and a lot of the spins have been documented in the documentary.

Another version in which the fingers only move in tandem and are not part of a continuous motion is called a “superman needle trick”. It involves