Gary Susman
October 20, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

David Blaine is no longer suspended in a plastic box over the Thames River, but he’ll be hanging out in London for a bit longer. The American magician emerged on schedule Sunday night from his latest and longest endurance test, having survived 44 days alone and without food in a 7-by-7-by-3-foot box while Britons watched from below or on England’s Sky One TV, which financed Blaine’s stunt by buying the broadcast rights. Over the next few weeks, the 30-year-old, who lost 34 pounds during his vigil, will have to undergo a battery of medical tests and be weaned back onto solid food, People reports.

During his self-imposed ordeal, in which he was sustained by water from a tube and gawked at by 250,000 passersby, Blaine had to endure hunger, isolation, hallucinations, his own increasing stench, blurred vision, back pain, heart palpitations, and the taunts of cheeky pranksters, who pelted his box with eggs and golf balls, teased him by waving aromatic food near the box, flashed him, banged on drums to keep him from sleeping, and even tried to cut off his water supply. Still, he told the crowd (estimated at 15,000) upon his exit from the box that his stunt had proved a learning experience, Reuters reports. ”I learned how strong we all are as human beings,” he said. ”I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life such as the smile from a loved one or a stranger, the sunshine and sunset.”

Blaine may already have another stunt lined up. He’s considering a jump from the Brooklyn Bridge, re-creating a leap that bartender Steve Brodie claimed to have accomplished in 1886. ”We talked about the Steve Brodie jump before David went into the box,” Blaine publicist Pat Smith, told the Times of London. ”He wants to try to surpass that. He wants to leap off a bridge, disappear beneath the waves and then make a spectacular reappearance.” Smith told the New York Daily News, that Blaine is mulling the Brooklyn Bridge stunt but has nothing planned, and a City Hall spokesman told the paper it was unlikely that the city would permit such a leap.

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