One of the oldest and most impressive tricks is sword swallowing. Many various magicians and illusionists have been performing this trick for thousands of years. Some illusionist complements his performance of tricks by swallowing a burning sword. In the past, this element of show was associated with true magic, heresy, or even the manifestation of the devil or other demons. Today, most viewers still admire this extreme trick, even though they realize it is just eye smoke and no one actually swallow the sword. So, let us find out where is the secret here!

True or False

It is easier to accept the fact that this is some kind of illusion than the reality that an illusionist could actually pushes the sword into his stomach. Also, if you have ever watched a trick of sword swallowing, you have probably noticed that the illusionist tries to gain the trust of a public before he does the key trick. The magicians often invite viewers to check and evaluate the sharpness of the sword, pull out the sword or even try to cut another thing.

The world-wide famous magician and escape specialist Harry Houdini wrote a lot about the trick of sword swallowing in his well-known book called “The Miracle Mongers, an Expose”. According to Harry Houdini, swordsmen in his time before the show trained to swallow a metal sword case. This is confirmed by other sources. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, before the show, the eaves train by swallowing a metal pipe with a length of 40-50 centimeters and a thickness of 2.5 centimeters.

The show itself is somehow a trick, but there are no illusions or other tricks in the action of sword swallowing. However, it requires a lot of physical and psychological preparation. Some magicians learn how to do this for years because it is an extremely dangerous trick.

Anatomical Explanation

The action of swallowing a sword is the collision of two very different objects: a sword and the upper gastrointestinal tract. The upper gastrointestinal tract consists of a group of connected organs such as the throat, pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. The upper gastrointestinal tract is quite soft environment and has some curves when it is fully relaxed. However, a sword is a sharp and hard object. There are some eaters who use the curved swords for the shows, but the major of magicians use perfectly straight swords for this trick.

The upper gastrointestinal tract can be considered as an alive case of sword, as a result, the movement is the same. However, it should be kept in mind that placing a sword in a normal case is not deadly while swallowing a sword can easily cause the death. Of course, all swords used for swallowing do not have sharp corners that could pierce, scratch, or otherwise damage the gastrointestinal tract. After all, this is a dangerous element of a show because everything is real during this trick.