A Chinese acrobat has cheated death after falling from a tightrope 600ft up.

The acrobat, named Aisikaier, was attempting to cross a ravine in Hunan province by walking backwards while blindfolded.

He was filmed on state television as he made his way across the huge gap, with a drop of 600ft below him, using only a long pole for balance.

The crossing took the best part of an hour, and Aisikaier had already prompted gasps from the crowd when he nearly fell and was forced to sit on the wire.

He collected himself and was within 150ft of the the end of the 2,300ft tightrope when he lost his balance and fell. He attempted to grab the wire, but it slipped from his grasp.

Amazingly, Aisikaier, a sixth-generation performer, only suffered minor injuries as his fall was slowed when he hit trees and shrubbery sticking out from the side of the ravine walls.

China Central Television claimed that the acrobat would have set a new world record for tightrope walking if he had completed the spectacular stunt.

The cameras continued to roll as safety officers raced to find Aisikaier after his fall and were shocked to find him able to walk back up the side of the ravine.

He claimed the epic crossing made him feel faint, meaning he was unable to react quickly enough when he was hit with a gust of high wind.