Michel Lotito (French pronunciation: [miʃɛl lɔtito]; 16 June 1950 – 17 April 2006[1]) was a French entertainer, born in Grenoble, famous for deliberate consumption of indigestible objects. He came to be known as Monsieur "Mouth" Mangetout ("Mr. Eat-All"). He started eating this unusual diet at age 9.[2]

Michel Lotito
Lotito eating parts of a Cessna 150 aircraft
Born(1950-06-16)16 June 1950
Died17 April 2006(2006-04-17) (aged 55)
Resting placeSaint Roch Cemetery, Grenoble
Other namesMonsieur Mangetout
Known forEating unusual objects

Entertainment edit

Michel Lotito began eating unusual material at 9 years of age,[3] and he performed publicly beginning in 1966, around the age of 16. He had an eating disorder known as pica, which is a psychological disorder characterised by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive. Doctors determined that Lotito also had a thick lining in his stomach and intestines which allowed his consumption of sharp metal without suffering injury.[4] Lotito also had digestive juices that were unusually powerful, meaning that he could digest the unusual materials. However, it also meant that soft foods, such as bananas and hard-boiled eggs, made him sick.[5][clarification needed]

Lotito's performance involved the consumption of metal, glass, rubber and other materials. He disassembled, cut up, and consumed items such as bicycles, shopping carts, televisions, beds and a Cessna 150,[6] among other items. It took him roughly two years, from 1978 to 1980, to eat the Cessna 150.

Lotito claimed not to suffer ill effects from his consumption of substances typically considered poisonous. When performing, he ingested approximately 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of material daily, preceding it with mineral oil and drinking considerable quantities of water during the meal.[7] It is estimated that between 1959 and 1997, Lotito "had eaten nearly nine tons of metal."[8]

Lotito's method for eating all of this metal was to break it into small pieces before attempting to eat it. He then drank mineral oil and continued to drink water while swallowing the metal bits. This allowed him to swallow the metal without damaging his throat. Lotito did not have any digestive problems as a result of his unusual diet.[9][10][11]

In 2022, Madison Dapcevich of Snopes, the fact-checking website, investigated Lotito's claim that he ate an entire airplane. She concluded that, although there are many accounts of Lotito's consumption of unusual objects, and that he "very likely" consumed such objects on stage as a professional entertainer, she was unable to confirm that Lotito ate an entire airplane, or even part of one.[12]

Awards edit

Lotito holds the record for the 'strangest diet' in the Guinness Book of Records. He was awarded a brass plaque by the publishers to commemorate his abilities. He ate his award.[3]

Death edit

Lotito died at age 55 on 17 April 2006 in Grenoble.[1]

List of unusual items consumed edit

At least:[3][8] [citation needed]

  • 45 door hinges
  • 18 bicycles
  • 15 shopping carts
  • 7 TV sets
  • 6 chandeliers
  • 2 beds
  • 1 pair of skis
  • 1 computer
  • 1 copy of the textbook Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler.
  • 1 Cessna 150 light aircraft
  • 1 waterbed (full of water)
  • 500 metres (1,600 ft) of steel chain at once
  • 1 coffin (with handles)
  • 1 Guinness award plaque
  • Assorted razors and bolts

In popular culture edit

  • The Man Who Ate the 747 (2000) is the debut novel of Ben Sherwood. It follows a record keeper for The Book of Records who discovers a farmer attempting to woo a woman by gradually eating a Boeing 747.[13][14] The novel was heavily inspired by The Guinness Book of World Records; Sherwood interviewed Lotito via telephone as part of his research.[6][12]
  • How to Eat an Airplane (2016) is a picture book based on Lotito, written by Peter Pearson and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Michel Dominique LOTITO". deces.matchid.io (in French). Republique Francaise. 2006.
  2. ^ "Man eats 15 pounds of bicycle". The Leader-Post. 7 September 1978.
  3. ^ a b c John Curra (16 April 2013). The Relativity of Deviance. SAGE Publications. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4833-2120-2.
  4. ^ Lorenzo, Tom (1 October 2012). "Michel Lotito: The Man Who Ate An Airplane And Everything Else". CBS. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Michel Lotito" (video). ABC International. YouTube. 2018.
  6. ^ a b Barron, James; Nagourney, Adam (30 August 2000). "Not Half Bad With Ketchup". The New York Times. p. B2.
  7. ^ Tiede, Tom (4 February 1980). "Prodigies bag big bucks by going pro". The Madison Courier.
  8. ^ a b "Weird world records: bizarre entries in the Guinness Book of World Records". The Telegraph. 17 September 2008.
  9. ^ Doug Mayer; Val Stori & Tod von Jahnes (2 August 2011). You Don't Know Sh*t. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-312-64990-6.
  10. ^ Miles Kelly Publishing (2006). Ripley's Believe it or Not: Arts & Entertainment. Ripley Entertainment, Inc. ISBN 978-1893951150.
  11. ^ "The Man Who Ate An Airplane Piece By Piece". Ripley's Believe It or Not!. 2 April 2019. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  12. ^ a b Dapcevich, Madison (7 March 2022). "Meet Michel Lotito, the Man Who Ate an Entire Airplane ... or So He Claimed". Snopes. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  13. ^ "THE MAN WHO ATE THE 747". Kirkus Reviews. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  14. ^ "The Man Who Ate the 747". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  15. ^ "HOW TO EAT AN AIRPLANE". Kirkus Reviews. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2023.