The Breakdown: Tongue Deadlift

It takes more than a strong stomach to lift 50 pounds with your tongue

Thomas Blackthorne has performed numerous impossible acts over the years, including swallowing swords and even a jackhammer, so the idea of lifting 25 pounds with his tongue probably didn't intimidate him all that much. The tongue itself doesn't actually look like it's doing the lifting; it's not like he's doing bicep curls here. To actually raise the weight off the ground, Blackthorne appears to be engaging his lower back muscles, keeping his arms out to the side to stay balanced. The main job of his tongue, therefore, is to stretch and hold without snapping. (Which would make for some nasty video.) The tongue itself is mostly muscle. Some of those muscles are charged with altering its shape, others with keeping it attached to the floor of the mouth and back of the throat. Both sets are probably stretched to near the tearing point here. After looping a hook through his tongue, then attaching the chain to the hook, Blackthorne lifts the box, and the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles, which anchor the tongue, stretch but hold tight. Of course this should go without saying, but we'll throw it ou there anyway: Please don't try this at home.—Gregory Mone