Lotito is also known as “Monsieur Mangetout,” which translates to “Mr. Eat Everything,” and that tells you everything you need to know. The guy has eaten everything from glass,silverware, and bicycles to an entire freakin’ Cessna 150 light aircraft (he reportedly ground it up into powder and sprinkled some on his toast every morning for two years), and thanks to a stomach with lining that’s twice as thick as the average person’s, it’s never made him sick.
Known as the “human ostrich,” Henry Harrison was a hugely successful “sideshow eater” around the turn of the 20th century (and also a bit of a playboy). His act was pretty simple: audiences would toss things up on stage, and he’d eat them. Glass, nails, screws, even pocket knives would be swallowed down with ease. Amazingly, he never suffered any ill effects, except for one time when he ate a package of pins and the packaging lodged in his intestine.
When this famed illusionist and trickster was a teenager, he learned from a Coney Island sideshow performer how to eat lightbulbs, and since then he’s eaten more than 4,000 of them. He also partnered with Teller (of Penn & Teller fame) to bring his show, Play Dead, to off-Broadway.
As opposed to Harrison, poor John Fasel, who also made a career for himself eating keys, knives, and whole pocket watches, didn’t have a digestive system that could handle it. In 1901, doctors removed three watch chains, five hairpins, three keys, a ring, 128 pins, and 12 horseshoe nails from his stomach, and Fasel retired from the scene after that.
When entertainer Chaz Chase got caught bringing 400 cigarettes and 75 cigars into Australia in 1947, customs officials thought he was a smuggler until he proved otherwise by eating some of them. One of vaudeville’s longest-running acts (he worked well into his 80s), Chase would eat just about anything — lit matches, flowers, coins, paper — and also appeared in many silent films.
“Metal-eating 80-year-old retires after choking on bike pedal” is one heck of a headline, but that’s exactly what happened to a Serbian man named Branko Crnogorac. He reportedly consumed 25,000 light bulbs, 12,000 forks, 2,000 spoons, 2,600 plates, and thousands of vinyl records. When doctors saved him from the bike pedal, they also discovered about four-and-a-half pounds of assorted metal in his stomach.
For part two of this slideshow, we’ll introduce you to a few people who have appeared on TLC’s My Strange Addiction. First up is Josh (last names aren’t provided), who just loves eating glass, everything from champagne flutes to light bulbs. It’s a party trick for him (he doesn’t eat glass when he’s alone), and it’s always enough for a great reaction. As for how he discovered glass eating? “I came across glass eating in a book I was eating,” he told People.
Another MSA all-star, Allison just can’t stop eating tires: she’s been eating them since 2008, and goes through about 14 pounds every month, or 50 tires in total. Her husband works in a tire plant, and every day he brings home tire shavings for her. “The rubber tire pieces taste really chemically, like a shock to your taste buds. It’s amazing,” she said on the show. “The texture of the rubber pieces is like beef jerky. It’s a work out for your jaw.”
19 year-old Nicole literally can’t stop eating deodorant. She eats about half a stick per day, more than 350 in total as of air-time. “My life revolves around eating deodorant. When I wake up in the morning, I want deodorant," Nicole said on the show. "It’s really soft. It feels like it melts in my mouth. It has its own unique taste." Unfortunately the active ingredient is toxic aluminum, which may account for the memory loss that she’s been suffering from.
Another one of the stranger food addictions on the show was from another lady named Nicole, who is has from many holes in the walls of her house thanks to an addiction to drywall. The 26-year old is literally eating her house, and has been over the past 7 years. She eats about three square feet per week, and said on the show that she does it because she “loves the smell of drywall, the texture, the taste, everything about drywall.” Along with her own house, she’s also gone to town on her friends and grandmother’s houses.