In the world of magic everything can be possible. However, sword swallowers or sword swallowers are people with an ability that very few can achieve without dying in the attempt, the latter is literal! Inexperienced sword swallowers can die if they do not carefully do the performance.
There is no gimmick or gimmick, sword swallowers actually swallow sharp objects put into their mouths. How do they do that? Well, in Supercurious we have the answer… Join us to discover these extraordinary fakirs, dating back to the 2nd century BC. c.
Who are the sword swallowers?
The first sword swallowers arose in the East as part of the group of priests and shamans who developed the technique along with others such as: walking on hot coals or hypnotizing snakes. if you wonder what to see in indiayou should know that the legend of sword swallowing originated there, in a region called Andhra Pradesh, where even today, this ancient practice continues.
This practice spread to China around the year 750 AD, and was so popular that in the Middle Ages sword swallowers were well known and sought after to make their presentation. Likewise, swallowing swords was often seen at all sorts of festivals in the Ancient Roman Empire, this type of performance art is said to be the “street theatre” of the time.
By the middle of the 17th century, the artists were already known throughout Europe, but It was not until the 19th century that the practice began to disappear. due to its prohibition, since it is a high-risk activity, since it was one of the most common circus shows with fatal endings in history.
Sword swallowers finally made their way to the United States in 1817, but their popularity peaked in 1893, when sword swallowers were one of the centerpiece shows at the Chicago World’s Fair.
1. How to swallow swords?
Although there are apparently cases where swallowing swords can be a trick, the practice of sword swallowing has been widely documented as a real and possible act, however, this doesn’t mean it’s easy. On the contrary, to be able to do it, you have to undergo strong physical and mental training that can last for years, and that will always be dangerous and even fatal.
The act can be considered as an interaction between a long, pointed metal object and the upper gastrointestinal tract (mouth, throat or pharynx, esophagus, and stomach). For the Sword Swallower to be successful, he must make these parts of the digestive system line up and act like a pod.
The sword swallower must learn to control various voluntary and involuntary movements and reflexes. which occur when you introduce a foreign object into the gastrointestinal tract, as everyone who has undergone an endoscopy knows. You must control the nausea, the movement of the epiglottis and the involuntary movements of the esophagus that try to return the foreign object, vomit it.
2. Steps to swallow a sword
Swallowing a sword isn’t something you can master overnight, normally This ancestral knowledge is transmitted from master to apprentice. For the most experienced sword swallowers, the following steps are already common, these are the ones they perform to swallow a sword:
- The head is tilted back and the neck is fully extended, thus aligning the mouth with the pharynx and esophagus.
- The sword is brought into position and inserted into the mouth, slowly passing through the pharynx and esophagus. The sword is lubricated with salivaalthough there are artists who also use vegetable oil.
- On its way, the pressure of the sword straightens the esophageal rings and in some cases it enters the stomach.
It is a journey of about 40 cm, from the mouth to the entrance of the stomach. The IASS (the International Association of Sword Swallowers) recognizes as sword swallowers those who ingest one with a minimum length of 38 cmso they don’t always go into the stomach, although some artists ingest sabers up to 60cm!
It must not be forgotten that on its way, the sword swallowed by sword swallowers passes close to other organs, such as the heart, lungs, and ganglia, blood vessels, the vena cava and the aorta artery.
Frequently there are lacerations that produce internal bleeding and perforations that can affect both the stomach and the lungs or other organs, so any unexpected movement can have a disastrous result, which has even ended the lives of many who have tried it.
It is estimated that since 1880 at least 29 cases of sword swallowers killed by swallowing sabers have been reported, and today it is estimated that there are fewer than 100 sword swallowers in the worldthis is 5 times less than the total number of astronauts, crazy.
3. Does swallowing a sword hurt?
One of the questions we can ask if we see a sword swallower is if it hurts. The answer is yes, this exercise is extremely painfulIf you hit your throat or esophagus while swallowing a sword, it can be quite painful and cause serious collateral damage.
In some cases, if the sphincter is not dilated, the insertion of a sword down the throat can cause a bruise on the chest, which in turn causes difficulties in eating food days later.
In addition, some sword swallowers, over time, can develop chronic diseases such as dysphagia, that is, difficulty swallowing food or liquids. Also are prone to acid reflux or throat cancer and esophagusprecisely because of the repetitive introduction of invasive elements (swords and other cutting elements) into its digestive system.
4. Sword swallowers in science
Since the end of the 19th century, Doctors saw in the abilities of sword swallowers an unexpected possibility to study what happened in the esophagus and stomach as if they were performing an endoscopy.
In 1868, the German physician Adolf Kussmaul performed an esophagoscopy on a sword swallower. He made her swallow a 47-centimeter rigid tube, mirrors, and a tiny gasoline lamp; this allowed him to study both the esophagus and the bottom of the sword swallower’s stomach.
Other doctors also used the abilities of these fakirs to make scientific advances. Currently Their procedures are studied to try to solve the problems of people with swallowing difficulties, such as dysphagia or achalasia.
5. Myths of sword swallowers
1. Do sword swallowers have their tonsils removed? No, although there are a few sword swallowers who have had their tonsils removed for medical reasons, this does not mean that there is a specific reason for all sword swallowers to have their tonsils removed.
2. Do you always need to hold your breath when swallowing a sword? Experts say that, at first, many sword swallowers hold their breath as they learn to control their gag reflex. However, with practice, breathing becomes more natural.
3. Do sword swallowers get enlarged Adam’s apple? It is a myth that is very relevant, since when the sword swallower inserts the sword, the blade will press on the nut, which makes the nut move a bit more and therefore appear larger, but this is momentary; by withdrawing the sword, the Adam’s apple will return to its place.
What do you think of sword swallowers? Would you like to be one of them? We read you! And if you want to continue reading, we recommend: the mystery of the incredible and bloody swords of Damascus will surprise you.