" American illusionist David Blaine has shocked a group of journalists by appearing to cut off part of his ear at a news conference to promote a forthcoming stunt.
The daredevil U.S. magician apparently drew blood after he was asked whether he could show the assembled reporters any new tricks. He borrowed a pocket knife and screamed as he applied it to his left ear.
He left the room holding a bloodied handkerchief to his ear before reappearing and walking past journalists with his ear and the top of his shirt covered with what appeared to be blood.
The event was aimed at publicising Blaine's next major feat on September 5, when he will be suspended in a clear plexi-glass case by the River Thames for 44 days.
The 30-year-old New Yorker will be sealed in a space about seven feet (2.1 metres) high, seven feet long and three feet wide, hung from a crane near Tower Bridge.
Blaine will eat no food and will have one tube for water and another for urinating.
It will be his first major stunt outside the United States.
Previously he has been entombed in a block of ice for 61 hours, buried in a coffin for a week and spent 35 hours standing on top of an 80-foot pillar in Manhattan.
"I consider this to be the most difficult thing I'm ever going to do in my lifetime," he said.
Blaine will be allowed to take diapers, a journal, some pens, lip balm, a pillow and a pad to lie on into the box. He said he currently weighs about 205 pounds and expects to lose about 45 pounds during the stunt.
Last week Blaine marked his arrival in London by perching on the roof of a capsule of the London Eye -- the world's tallest Ferris wheel.
(i'm not exactly sure what is so 'magical' about these stunts, but maybe that's just me.)