World Sword Swallowing Day

Did you know that this Saturday is World Sword Swallowing Day? I didn’t until someone submitted this fun video to us.

Now that video is all well and good, but let’s take a brief look at some surprising reality about sword swallowing. In reviewing the press release about this year’s World Sword Swallowing Day I learned a lot. For instance, Sword Swallowers Association International President Dan Meyer states, “We established World Sword Swallower’s Day to promote this ancient art still carried on by a few dozen surviving performers — to raise awareness of the medical contributions sword swallowers have made in the fields of medicine and science, to honor veteran performers, and to raise funds for esophageal cancer research and the Injured Sword Swallower’s Relief Fund.”

Medical contributions? That’s right. I learned from further reading the release that in 1868 a sword swallower was used by Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg Germany to develop the first rigid endoscopy. In 1906 a sword swallower underwent the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales. In the 1930’s sword swallower Delno Fritz died of pneumonia while testing a bronchialscope for doctors in Pennsylvania as a result of a screw that came loose and lodged in his lung.

To learn more about World Sword Swallowing Day, visit the Sword Swallowers Association International website! Until then, let’s check out a previous participant!