andrew basso split image

A daring escapologist left a TV audience on the edge of their seats with this incredibly dangerous stunt.

Andrew Basso (Italy) set the record for fastest time to escape from a water tank upside down with restrained hands and feet on the set of Lo Show dei Record last year.

The illusionist took just 2 minutes 11 seconds to free himself.

In a heart-stopping clip from the show, Andrew is seen with his ankles sticking out of two holes in the lid of a water tank and padlocked into place.

Handcuffed, he’s lowered headfirst into the tank and the lid is locked in place.

The escapologist immediately gets to work, using an unfolded paperclip to undo the cuffs around his wrists one by one.

Audience members sit in complete silence, seemingly holding their breath too.

andrew basso locked into the tank upside down

Once his hands are freed, Andrew twists his body and jerks his leg from side to side in order to dislocate his right ankle so that it can be pulled through its shackle and down into the tank, where he grabs it and pops it back in place.

Andrew then pulls his other foot through and turns around so he’s upright.

He sticks his hands through the holes that had held his ankles in place and gets to work picking the lock that’s keeping him in the tank and away from air.

andrew basso picks the lock on his handcuffs

He pushes the lid open and swims up for air, releasing himself after a very tense 2 minutes 11 seconds.

The daring performer later appeared on Da Vinci show The One Thing, to reveal all about his death-defying stunt.

On how he first got into escapology, Andrew said: “Since I was a kid, I wanted to become an artist capable of doing impossible things.”

andrew basso works to free his legs

While reading about the art, Andrew repeatedly saw references to famous escapologist Harry Houdini (c. 1874-1926) and wondered why he was still so well-known long after his death.

“I thought, I want to become like him,” he confessed.

“I think I started this because of fear. As a kid, I was always fascinated by fear.

andrew basso picks the lock on the tank

“There was this feeling of being afraid of something, but I’d go close enough to have that feeling and then try to manage it.”

He added: “So, growing up, I tried to figure out the skills you needed to have to be able to manage fear and escapology fits perfectly.

“When I’m underwater, upside down, in handcuffs, with my feet bound in stocks, your body and your brain is telling you ‘don’t do it, this is dangerous’.”

andrew basso climbs out of the tank

Andrew learned to breathe in a way that would enable him to keep calm and maintain the focus he needs to escape.

And he says anyone looking to try something daring should “believe in the impossible”.

andrew basso stands on top of the tank

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