Accomplishments and Records

Meet the Man Who Ate an Entire Airplane

Michel Lotito

Say what you will about Michel Lotito, but one thing is for certain: he never suffered from iron deficiency in his diet. For that matter, he didn’t want for glass, plastic, aluminum, or a host of other things you would never dream of consuming.

Michel Lotito (June 15, 1950 – June 25, 2007) gained fame as a French entertainer known as Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat-All”). From the age of nine, he acted upon a compulsion to eat some very peculiar things. The triggering event was when the drinking glass he was using shattered. Instead of grabbing a broom and dustpan, he cleaned up the mess by eating the broken glass. Why his parents permitted this is an unexplained mystery. Even more remarkable, however, is the fact that he suffered no ill effect for his efforts.

Lotito had a condition known as pica, a psychological compulsion to eat non-nutritive objects. Usually, this condition creates health problems. Lotito, however, was able to chew the broken glass and swallow it, seemingly without any complications. Physicians examined Lotito and determined he had a remarkably-resilient digestive system. His stomach and intestines were much thicker than average, allowing him to ingest things that would kill anyone else.

Over nearly five decades after eating the broken glass, Lotito expanded his tastes to any number of substances. With the assistance of generous doses of mineral oil to keep his throat well lubricated, Lotito’s diet included an average of two pounds of metal each day.

Lotito took his meals on the road as a performer, and people were eager to pay to watch him eat the most amazing things. In the course of his career, Lotito consumed 18 bicycles, seven TV sets, two beds, 15 supermarket trolleys, a computer, a coffin (handles and all), a pair of skis and six chandeliers. All told, he ate over nine tons of metal.

The most impressive item Lotito consumed was an airplane. In 1978 he began munching on a Cessna 150 airplane. He ate it the way one is supposed to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. It took him two years, but by the end of 1980, the entire airplane had disappeared through Lotito’s mouth.

Lotito may have been able to digest things ordinary people would never even consider eating, but, curiously enough, he had great difficulty eating soft foods, such as bananas.

The Guinness Book of Records recognized Lotito for “The Strangest Diet.” He was awarded a brass plaque for this honor — which he promptly consumed.

Lotito died of natural causes shortly after his 57th birthday. We feel his loos, but airplanes, shopping carts, and bicycles all rest more easily without the fear of succumbing to Mr. Eat-All.

Read about more unusual world records.

Read more fun facts about airplanes.

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