ByDaniel Pearson, writer at

Humans have apparently been eating each other for at least 800,000 years. At the brink of starvation thousands of years ago, some might even say we had good reason: the average human adult provides 30 kilograms (66 lb) of food.

But alas, in an age of microwave meals and oven-baked pizzas, cannibalism isn't really acceptable anymore.

Unfortunately though, this horrifying act does still happen; just a week ago there was a gruesome report that a Mexican drug cartel were forcing new recruits to eat the hearts of the people they'd murdered!

With this terrifying news in mind, here's 5 gruesome facts about cannibalism!

1. Human flesh tastes like pork.

Yes, you read that right: human meat is supposed to to taste like delicious pork meat.

German Armin Meiwes, a notorious cannibal, killed a man and ate up to 20 kg of his flesh. He said it tastes like pork “but a little bit more bitter, stronger. It tastes quite good.”

Apparently a person’s age, which body part, and obviously the method of cooking all affect its flavor.

2. Some cannibals eat their family members.

Cannibalism is split into two different groups: Endo-cannibalism and Exo-cannibalism. Both are different, but equally as creepy.

Endo-cannibals eat the remains of their dead friends and family as a way of commemorating and venerating them. The Fore tribe, for example, are known to eat each other's flesh and brains to allow the deceased’s soul to remain close to their living family.

Exo-cannibals on the other hand do so purely for their own pleasure or to scare others. These are the real sickos!

3. We're all inherently cannibalistic.

It's true. Whenever we eat our fingernails (or bogeys - you know who you are!) we're engaging in what is called "autocannibalism".

There is a more sinister side to this, however, as the term also encompasses being forced to eat your own body parts by somebody else. Like in 2003, when The United Nations accused Congolese rebels of forcing pygmies tribes to eat their own flesh.

Or in 1934, when a group of white Southern racists kidnapped black man Claude Neal and forced him to eat his own testicles before they skinned and burned him.

4. Cannibalism is rife amongst animals.

A polar bear eating... a polar bear.
A polar bear eating... a polar bear.

It's a fact: many animals eat each other.

The female orb-web spider eat their mates to boost the chance of successful fertilization and helps them produce healthy eggs.

Even the normally vegetarian Hippos have been spotted chowing down on each other. Last month, Leejiah Dorward of Imperial College London observed two hippos feeding on the decaying carcass on another hippo in Kruger National Park in South Africa.


5. Human flesh was once used in medicine.

This is by far the most disgusting of the lot. Imagine you're stricken in bed with the flu. The doctor comes round, you're expecting a few aspirins and advice to get to get plenty of rest - what does he give you? The liver of some poor fellow that died last week!

Which is exactly happened across Europe during the middle ages.

Human fat was thought to help heal wounds and treat arthritis and rheumatism, while blood, especially menstrual blood, was said to alleviate epilepsy.



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