Twenty-seven-year-old Angus Barbieri was a big man with a big appetite. At 456 pounds, he was also classified as “grossly obese.” Unhappy with his weight, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
In 1965, the six-foot man visited a hospital in Dundee looking to lose a few pounds. The doctors advised Angus to go on a short fast. They believed it might help him lose a little weight. They recommended he fast for 40 days, but they didn’t have high hopes that he would be successful.
Angus exceeded expectations by going weeks without food. He was determined to reach his ideal weight of 180 pounds. However, fasts over 40 days are extremely dangerous. Angus didn’t care. He was on a roll. He lived solely on a diet of vitamins and supplements as the weight continued to fall from his bones.
Angus drank coffee and tea daily, but nothing solid passed his lips. The doctors gave Angus regular blood-sugar tests to confirm he wasn’t eating. Doctors were dumbfounded. Angus could function without food.
Weeks turned into months as the fat continued to drop from Angus’s frame. Finally, after a fast that lasted 382 days, Angus lost 276 pounds. He reached his target weight of 180 pounds. He announced he had forgotten what food tasted like as he tucked into a hearty breakfast.
Angus’s year-long fast is the longest in history. It is a fine example of mind over matter.
While Angus’s relationship with food is hard to believe, the appetite of Michel Lotito is even stranger.
In 1978, he sat down for a most unusual meal. It was a Cessna airplane. It took him two years to finish the unusual dish.
It’s not advisable for even the most adventurous diner to chow down on nine tons of metal. Yet, the Frenchman had a one-of-a-kind palette due to a rare eating disorder known as pica.
The disorder gave Michel an unusual appetite for substances such as dirt, glass, or metal. Fortunately, nature had equipped Michel with a strong stomach with unusually potent digestive juices. He could consume and digest poisonous metals and get away with it scot-free.
Michel was able to eat almost anything including bicycles, televisions and cars. He decided to turn his unusual appetite into a career.
His peculiar talent led to giving public performances from the age of 16.
He adopted the stage name of Monsieur Mangetout, which translates as ‘Mr. Eat-All.’
The highlight of his career was devouring the airplane. He was given a brass plaque by the Guinness Book of World Records. It celebrated breaking a new record for the ‘strangest diet’ in history. Monsieur Mangetout ended up eating the plaque.