The problem with a company that sports the motto "Believe It Or Not!" is that as soon as you believe something, you want more . . . and more . . . and more.

So, for International Sword Swallowers Day 2013, Ripley's raised the bar significantly, showing off the best in extreme steel slurping.

In Baltimore, Dan Meyer swallowed a sword while pulling a 3,300 Mini Cooper.

"I had blood on my sword after that little stunt," Meyer told the Huffington Post. "And I woke up with a fat lip."

After Meyers pulled the jewel-encrusted car 10 feet, fellow sword swallower Lady Diane Falk told him not to worry about the blood.

"A little blood is a good thing," she told him. "That let's everyone knows that sword swallowing is real."

Indeed, it only seems like stage magic when a performer jabs a 20+ inch blade down his or her throat. It's actually a practiced art that goes back centuries in Europe and Asia, where sword swallowing evolved simultaneously as a time-honored tradition.

Some other highlights from Sword Swallowing Day 2013:

  • At the Ripley's in New York City, Todd Robbins led a large contingent featuring Natasha Veruschka, among others, who swallowed multiple swords at once.
  • In Dallas, Richard Leboeuf swallowed a sword while juggling, while Shel Higgens did it while jumping rope on a unicycle.
  • In Newport Beach, Twisted Trystan deep throated a power drill, running at full speed.
  • Patricia Forrest stood on tippy toes, ballerina-style, performing pointe work while gobbling a blade, in Panama City Beach.
  • And in Atlantic City, David Peyre-Ferry swallowed a sword while sandwiched between a bed of nails.

WORLD SWORD SWALLOWERS DAY (Story continues below)

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  • World Sword Swallowers Day 2013

    Feb. 23, 2013, marks the seventh annual World Sword Swallowers Day, a day when sword swallowers all over the world point out the contributions this ancient sideshow art has made to humanity.

  • George "The Gentle Giant" McArthur

    "Being a sword swallower means being aware of the passageways in a way the average person is not," said George McArthur, a7-foot, 3-inch sword swallower. "Once you learn the skill, you have to effect the various sphincter muscles down the throat and be aware so something doesn't go down the wrong passageway."

  • World Sword Swallowers Day 2013

    Sword swallowing dates back to around 4,000 B.C. and was invented in the southern part of India.

  • World Sword Swallower's Day

    Learning to swallow a sword can take years, because the person has overcome natural reflexes and learn to nudge the heart aside so the sword can go down the esophagus.

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    Some people think sword swallowers use collapsible swords, but that is not the case with the 200-or-so members of the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI).

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    Sword swallowers have made many contributions to humanity. In 1868, a sword swallower was used by Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg, Germany, to develop the first rigid endoscopy, and a sword swallower underwent the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales in 1906.

  • World Sword Swallowing Day

    World Sword Swallowing Day is always held on the last Saturday of February, which is National Swallowing Disorders Month.

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    The participating swordsmen and women plan to raise money for esophogeal cancer research and a relief fund for injured sword swallowers set up by the SSAI.

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    Sword swallowing can have permanent effects. Some practitioners report increased neck pain because they have to position it so a sword can go straight down.

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    At 2:23 p.m. local time, sword swallowers will do a simultaneous swallow.

  • World Sword Swallowers Day

    Sword swallowing is so rare that the performer usually perform solo, so the artists love the chance to work and meet other swordsmen and women.

  • Asia Ray

    Asia Ray, 20, is the youngest female sword swallower in the world. She learned to do it by first swallowing a coat hanger.

  • Morgue

    Morgue, a shock artist for the Venice Beach Freakshow, learned sword swallowing four years ago as a way to pay respect to the most ancient form of shocking people.

  • Brianna Belladonna

    Brianna Belladonna of the Venice Beach Freakshow said learning how to swallow a sword has helped her feel she can do anything.

  • Sword Swallowing On Huff Post Live

  • Sword Swallowing On Huff Post Live

  • Sword Swallowing On Huff Post Live

  • Sword Swallowing On Huff Post Live

  • Sword Swallowing On Huff Post Live

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office

  • Sword Swallowing In The Huff Post Office