Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Metal-Eating Man

A Cessna 150, one of the more famous items Mic...A Cessna 150, one of the more famous items Michel ate over his lifetime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)on Amazing Stories: http://yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au/~jonno/story7.htm

The annals of medical science contain many cases of people who have tried to devour metal objects. Usually they injure themselves and sometimes they die.

Yet there is one man who has devoted his adult life to metal-eating on a grand scale and seems none the worse for wear. His name: Michel Lotito, a Frenchman from Grenoble, who stage name of Monsieur Mangetout means "Mr. Eat-All."

Lotito has given "eating performances" all over the world. In recent appearances he has chewed his way through shopping trolleys, television sets, aluminum skis, and several bicycles ("the chain is the tastiest part", he is reported to have said). Apart from these substantial objects he has consumed hundreds of razor blades, plates, coins, glasses and bottles, cutlery, beer cans, bullets, nuts and bolts, knitting needles, lengths of chain, and phonograph records.

His major achievement to date: a Cessna 150 light aircraft. He started munching it in June 1978, and at a rate of a few snacks a day, finished it in 1980.

Lotito's remarkable eating habits began when he was a child. Mocked by other children because he had rickets, he came to win their admiration by chewing glass and proving his resistance to pain; he would invite them to beat him with bats and to stick needles into his body. Even today, sidelines of his act include using his body as a dart board and letting his chest be punctured with staples.

Lotito's technique is to cut objects into bite-size portions and to eat about 2 pounds of metal a day. He likes to first lubricate his digestive tract by drinking mineral oil, and then consume large quantities of water while he is eating.

Disbelieving doctors have frequently subjected Lotito to detailed examination, including X-ray, and have concluded that at least part of what he consumes is broken down by unusually powerful digestive juices.

Specialists have also found that the linings of his stomach and intestines are twice as thick as average. As a result, while he can eat metal and other apparently indigestible objects, his digestive system does not cope efficiently with soft foodstuffs such as eggs and bananas.

In 1981 he was attacked and stabbed, receiving severe life threatening internal injuries. He underwent major surgery and recovered surprisingly quickly. Three weeks later he ate a robot.
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