A strange story says that there would have been a man, known as Tarrare, who would have eaten continuously, reaching up to 20 kilograms of food a day. His extreme hunger would have destroyed his life.
Tarrare, marked by a childhood tragedy
Tarrare would have been born in a rural area of Lyon, France, in the year 1772, and would have been orphaned at a young age, because his parents could not afford to take care of him, in the context in which his appetite for food was amazing.
Moreover, his hunger would have destroyed his image since he was a child. He was known to eat foods that most people would consider disgusting and inedible “delicacies” like rocks and dirt.
Despite his insatiable hunger, Tarrare was not obese. He was of average height and build. At the age of 17, he was eating food whose total weight was equivalent to that of his entire body or half a cow.
Cast out by his family, Tarrare ended up joining a group of thieves and beggars to survive, and began eating food and inedible objects as a form of entertainment. By eating astonishing things, he distracted the viewers from the members of the band of thieves of which he was a part. At some point, Tarrare began to earn a living on his own.
Which would have explained Tarrare’s insatiable hunger
As long as Tarrare, the man who couldn’t stop eating, lived, no doctor could say for sure what caused his insatiable hunger. However, several possible explanations were subsequently suggested.
The first of these is that Tarrare allegedly had a tapeworm infection. Tapeworms consume their host’s food. However, this theory does not explain why the Frenchman ate even inedible things or why he ate incessantly.
Another theory is that Tarrare suffered from a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome. This causes patients to exhibit an insatiable appetite. However, this theory does not explain why the Frenchman ate inedible objects or how he did not become obese.
A third possible explanation is that Tarrare may have had a pike shape. Pica is a condition in which people feel a strong desire for non-food items, although it usually affects children and pregnant women.
The fourth and most likely explanation is that Tarrare had polyphagia caused by a severe form of hyperthyroidism. Those suffering from hyperthyroidism often suffer from weight loss, sweating, nervousness and hair loss. This aptly describes the condition of the mysterious Frenchman.