Michel Lotito: The Man Who Ate An Airplane And Everything Else

Michel Lotito, better known as “Monsieur Mangetout,” which appropriately translates to “Mr. Eats All,” has certainly lived up to his nickname. The Frenchman has eaten everything from bicycles (including the spokes) to an entire Cessna 150 airplane. Between 1959 and 1997, he ate an estimated nine tons of metal. That’s right, nine tons.

Lotito suffered from Pica, which is a medical condition that causes cravings to eat such things as dirt, glass and, apparently, anything metal. The disorder, as you might guess, can lead to a blocked intestine and other surgical emergencies in normal people. Lead poisoning is also a risk.

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Fortunately for him, the French-born “entertainer,” as he often referred to himself, also had what doctors deemed a “very thick” lining in his stomach and intestines. This made it possible for sharp metal objects to pass through his system without doing any structural damage. (Poisonous materials didn’t seem to cause him any problems either.) He would break objects into small pieces and consume them with lots of water. He would also drink copious amounts of mineral oil to help guide the metal bits and pieces down through his intestines.

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He limited his metal intake to about one kilogram per day. So each of the 18 bicycles he consumed required multiple sittings. It took him two years to eat the airplane. Lotito also ate 15 shopping carts, seven television sets, six chandeliers, two beds, a coffin and a small section of the Eiffel Tower. At that point he was just rubbing it in, no? Oddly enough, he had trouble eating and digesting bananas and hard-boiled eggs. So, score one for the rest of us.

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His greatest accomplish, however, came in 1981, proving that man is truly mightier than machine. Lotito was attacked and brutally stabbed, resulting in life-threatening injuries. He endured a rather grueling and painful surgery-to-recovery process. But, in true showman-like fashion, Mr. Eats Everything rebounded to eat an entire robot, bit by bit, just three weeks later. Now that’s what we call a true professional. Given the constant threat of robot uprising (at least in science fiction), he could’ve been our “last resort” option. We’ll just chalk that one up as a missed opportunity.

Sadly, Mr. Lotito passed away in June of 2007, just shortly after his 57th birthday. It’s said that he died of “natural causes.” Yes, I imagine the nine tons of metal that passed through his digestive system had nothing to do with his passing. Just your typical 57-year-old Frenchman with an appetite for airplanes and a digestive system that can’t handle a hardball egg.

Yep, natural causes.

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Tom Lorenzo is a freelance sports, entertainment and pop culture writer from New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at @TomLorenzo.

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