Orlando, FL, USA — It’s edgy. It takes mettle – and metal. It is sword swallowing, and once again Ripley’s Believe It or Not! honors this ancient art by celebrating World Sword Swallower’s Day on Saturday, February 22.
More than 20 sword swallowers will risk their lives when they “drop swords” at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums across North America onFebruary 22. In all, more than 125 feet of solid steel will go down the hatch – hopefully without a scratch!
Participating Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums include Hollywood, New York City, Baltimore, Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach, Grand Prairie, Key West, St. Augustine, Panama City Beach and Branson. There will also be a performance at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, which will be hosting The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! exhibit.
Performances typically start around 2:00 pm local time and culminate with an official swallow that takes place at 2:22:14 to coincide with the 2/22/14 date.
“We established World Sword Swallower’s Day to honor this ancient art and recognize the few people in the world who can do this,” explains Dan Meyer, a sword swallower whose amazing feats have been chronicled by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. “We also raise awareness of the contributions sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science and raise money for esophageal cancer research.”
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has a long history of highlighting the death-defying achievements of sword swallowers – going back 80 years. Sword swallowers were a big part of the very first Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, as performers mesmerized huge crowds.
People who want to try their hand at sword swallowing – and not risk their lives – can use the
Ripley iSword app to swallow a virtual sword and freak out their friends. All it takes is nerves of steel and lightning-fast reflexes. The app is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch iOS 5 or later.