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Turns Out The Effects Of Cannibalism On Your Body Are Grim

James Dawson

| Last updated 

Turns Out The Effects Of Cannibalism On Your Body Are Grim

I probably shouldn't need to point out that from an ethical - and even a purely 'that's proper weird that is' - standpoint, Cannibalism is gross. But all that stuff aside, it also turns out it can really fuck up your body.

In fact, chowing down on another human-being's arm, leg or face can leave you in a seriously bad way health-wise.

Why? Well, human flesh is classed as red meat, but due to the myoglobin in our muscles, it is dangerous to eat because of prions.

Until about 50 years ago, in Papau New Guinea, it was the done thing for one group of people - the Fore - to eat their love ones once they died. But as a result of consuming human tissue, many people developed Koru or 'laughing disease'.


The condition is a very rare, incurable neurodegenerative disorder caused by a twisted protein in human flesh - prions which survive heat - and being cooked. Prions cause devastation by killing nerve cells in the brain, rendering it like a sponge, full of holes.

If you develop the condition you are likely to die within a year.

Earlier this year a CNN reporter was heavily criticised for his coverage of the cannibalistic Aghori sect.


In footage recorded for the show Believer, Aslan, after having his face smeared with the ashes of human bodies, is asked to wear a headband made of human teeth, drink from a human skull and manages to upset the tribesman who tells him: "I will cut off your head if you keep talking so much.

Credit: CNN

But there's an extra twist. In his coverage, Aslan is given a piece of human brain to eat. Which, perhaps in wanting not to upset his host, he bitterly swallows.


Whereas some may praise his works, others were quick to criticise.

Aslan demonstrates an instant look of regret after eating brain. Credit: CNN


He was initially told to put a band of human teeth on his head - but instantly felt uncomfortable and removed it. Credit: PA

As part of his investigating, Aslan drank from a skull. Credit: PA

Who are the Aghori?


  • Devotees of the Hindu God, Shiva
  • They base their beliefs on two principles: that Shiva is perfect, and Shiva is responsible for all that occurs; basically everything must be perfect otherwise it denies the sacredness of life to its full
  • They believe everyone is born perfect but there are eight 'great nooses' that restrict this. These include: sensual pleasure, anger, greed, obsession, fear and hatred
  • The practices of the Aghori are based around the removal of these ties

Featured Image Credit: Orion Pictures

James Dawson
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