We can turn almost anything into entertainment.
Whether we’re visiting an art gallery or watching the Kardashians, different people have different definitions of what makes a quality evening. This is just as true for food as it is for anything else. Viewers love watching people suffer in a particularly sweary kitchen, eat absurdly delicious-looking food and serve up culinary disasters to unforgiving critics.
However, some of the most entertaining foodie adventures involve things that shouldn’t be edible at all. Whether deliberately or by mistake, these incredible feats of consumption will make you laugh, make you cry and leave you amazed at the power of the human stomach.
1. A light bulb
Throughout history, various showmen and women have turned to food as the vehicle with which to thrill a crowd. One of the most notable is American sideshow legend Todd Robbins. As part of his unorthodox performances, Robbins specialises in swallowing swords, breathing fire and, perhaps most alarming of all, eating light bulbs. First illuminating the light bulb to show that it’s the real thing, Robbins removes the metal base and eats the glass casing, biting into it as though it were an apple. During peak season, he estimates that he can eat as many as 21 light bulbs a week.
2. A car
Robbins is not the only man to have earned a living from ill-advised eating habits. In 1978, Australian strong man Leon Samson was at the peak of his powers. Forging a formidable reputation by biting nails in two and breaking boulders with his head, there seemed little that Sampson could accomplish. This led one Doubting Thomas to bet $20,000 that Sampson could not successfully eat a car. By breaking it down into bite sized pieces and mixing it into other food, Sampson completed the feat two years after the bet was made, collecting the money from a presumably sheepish bettor.
3. Lit cigarettes
While breaking a car down into digestible pieces may be ill advised, eating lit cigarettes sounds downright painful. Nevertheless, this particular feat is how vaudeville performer Chaz Chase built a cult following in the 1920s. After taking his act on a global tour, Chase was stopped by Australian customs officials, who believed that he intended to illegally sell the thousands of cigars and cigarettes that he was attempting to bring into the country. It was only after he demonstrated his act in the airport that they let him go.
4. An aeroplane
Perhaps one of the best known consumers of inedible objects is French entertainer Michel Lotito. While his personal preference appears to be for bicycles (he’s eaten 18 of them in his time), perhaps his most astonishing accomplishment was eating an entire light aircraft. It took him a little over two years, but this feat earnt Lotito a place in the Guinness World Records as the only person to ever eat a whole plane.
5. Dirty Nappies
While many people eat strange things in the name of entertainment, others do it for pleasure. The most extreme has to be a woman known only as Keyshia. On an episode of TLC’s “My Strange Addiction”, it was revealed that Keyshia has a penchant for pee soaked nappies. Apparently, the more pee the better. Sourcing from family, friends and even strangers, Keyshia’s case just goes to show that eating really is a question of taste.
While people are forever pushing themselves to new, and slightly disturbing, heights of physical accomplishment, it’s difficult to comprehend how some of these feats may be topped. In the case of the dirty diapers, that may be better for everyone concerned. We strongly advise that none of these are tried at home.