As with many taboos, our modernized society tends to approach cannibalism as if it's a thing of the past, some anthropological phenomenon to be studied and distanced. If movies are any indicator, however, we continue to be fascinated with the horrifying topic. Nowhere is this put into more shocking terms than in Eli Roth's upcoming horror film The Green Inferno, which sees a group of do-gooders land in a purely evil situation.
Outside of the world of fiction, we may try to forget about just how animalistic human nature can get, but there's still a scary underbelly lurking in the shadows today. In short, you don't have to crash land on unfamiliar soil to find some spine-tingling true stories of men who feast on flesh.
Here are ten shocking truths about cannibalism that prove it's much more close to home than you may have bargained for.
1. You may think it's a thing of the past, but incidents of cannibalism are still around
These countries are not some remote places with small communities, either. They include Canada, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia, and, in a surprisingly large number of instances, the United States.
2. Some examples are particularly memorable (and gruesome)
Can you imagine being forced to eat your teammate just to survive?
3. Weary explorers can find themselves in particular danger
Despite Michael's status and wealth as a member of the esteemed Rockefeller family, no amount of money could save him when his boat capsized, and he swam to a foreign shore.
4. As recently as 2015, cannibalism has been used as a grisly form of initiation
And that's certainly the most abject form of hazing I've ever heard.
5. Some cannibals even spruce up the meat before digging in
Do you think he was prepared with fava beans and a nice chianti?
6. Others cook them purely for the sadistic thrill
Dahmer continues to be one of the most notorious serial killers in the entire world, and so much of his residual terror is linked to his enjoyment of human flesh.
7. The vulnerable members of society seem to be the most likely victims
Which definitely doesn't bode well for the abandoned group in The Green Inferno.
8. But sometimes the tables turn
What's worse, any remaining body parts were sold to a local pie and kebab house, meaning innocent folks unknowingly dug into another human.
9. Sometimes, desperation leads to the unthinkable
Even when there's no other option, cannibalism still makes your stomach turn.
10. But in the most sinister instances, there's no explanation beyond pure human malice
In the scariest twist of this particular crime, the cannibals believed their murders were "purifications" or rituals that included chopping up the bodies, draining the blood, and ravenously gorging on body parts.
In that sense, the ritualization of such an unfathomable act is not unlike what we can expect from Eli Roth's next unabashed look at human suffering. For those brave enough to endure some unbelievably realistic scenes even worse than those on this list, The Green Inferno hits theaters on September 25th, and you can check out the official Facebook here!