Daredevil and high-wire artist Nik Wallenda will attempt to cross an active volcano on live television Wednesday night.
The stunt will be aired as a two-hour special called Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda on ABC. The program started at 8 p.m. ET, and will follow Wallendas process as he prepares to walk across Nicaraguas Masaya volcano. Masaya last erupted in 2016, creating a lava lake in its crater.
Though Masaya is not expected to erupt during Wallendas walk, Wallenda says it is a possibility. However, even without an eruption, the stunt is dangerous. Its 1,800 feet across the volcano, and high winds could make it difficult for Wallenda to keep his balance. If that wasnt all, the volcano emits dangerous gases Wallenda says could suffocate or even blind him. To stay safe, Wallenda will be wearing a mask and goggles.
Nik Wallenda, shown here, will attempt to cross an active volcano Wednesday evening on “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda.”
Maarten de Boer/ABC
“Its the highest walk Ive ever attempted. Its also the longest walk Ive ever attempted,” Wallenda told WFTS. “Theres actually so much [carbon dioxide] that it absorbs the oxygen out of your lungs. So theres that, there is the heat, and the fact that this volcano could erupt at any moment.”
Masaya puts out over 330,000 tons of carbon dioxide in a year. While considered one of the worlds most active volcanoes—erupting 13 times in 30 years—Masaya isnt known for causing deaths and destruction. However, in 2001, a new vent was formed by an explosion, which sent rocks as far as a third of a mile away, injuring one person.
Though the cliche is “Dont look down!” when someone is high above the ground, Wallenda says that is a bit of advice he wont follow.
“I absolutely will look down,” Wallenda told Good Morning America. “Its more about this beautiful piece of nature.”
The wire keeping Wallenda aloft is only one-inch thick, and Wallenda says hes never walked on a cable of that diameter until preparing for this stunt. He expects the full walk to take a little over a half-hour.
“Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” airs live Wednesday, March 4 on ABC from the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua.
This is far from Wallendas first high-profile walk. Last year in a similar ABC special, the daredevil walked 1,300 feet above New York Citys Times Square. Nick—and his sister, who joined him on the Times Square walk—are the seventh generation of circus performers with the famed troupe, the Flying Wallendas. Members of the Wallenda family have been performing feats of balance since the early 1900s.
Wallenda has kept up the family legacy, becoming the first aerialist to walk across Niagara Falls for a 2012 ABC special. In 2008, he broke the world record for the highest and longest-ever bike ride on a high wire during an appearance on NBCs Today.
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The aerialist told WFTS that he hopes his amazing feats will show others the glory of God.
“I think everyone has a unique gift, a unique talent. I choose to use it to bring glory to His name by showing off mother nature and also just glorifying him,” said Wallenda. “Im always very careful when I speak about my faith to say I dont necessarily believe that God holds me on the wire although, hes more that capable to, but I think that would be testing God. The reality is hes given me the wisdom and the understanding to be able to learn and train and prepare for these worst-case scenarios.”
Viewers can tune in to ABC Wednesday evening to watch Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda. ABC is also streaming the program on their website and ABC app, which requires a login from a participating TV provider. The program will also appear on Hulu for streaming starting Thursday.
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