With more than 5.5 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute, or idly wondering about the expected lifespan of someone who eats nothing but KFC and overcooked steak with ketchup. We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 5,591,330-week series, Wiki Wormhole.
This week’s entry: Tarrare
What it’s about: The French have long been known for their cuisine, but in the late 1700s, one particular Frenchman went for quantity over quality. Tarrare (it’s not known what his full name was, or even if Tarrare was his real name) gained infamy from a young age as a remorseless eating machine, who could consume his own weight worth of food in a day, yet somehow always stayed thin. Doctors were baffled, but he was eventually able to turn his strange ability into a career as a performer, eating large quantities of food and other things for rapt audiences.
Strangest fact: Tarrare was decidedly not a picky eater. While performing, he would eat corks, stones, and live animals. When his act led to an intestinal blockage, he thanked the doctor who treated him by offering to eat his watch. The doctor said he’d cut Tarrare open to get it back if necessary. When not performing, he was known to eat garbage and pick food scraps from dung heaps, and once while hospitalized, he allegedly drank the blood of patients undergoing bloodletting and was caught attempting to eat bodies in the morgue [ . . . ]
Read more at source: AV CLUB Meet the man who couldn’t stop eating