The mystery of Tarrare: the man who could eat anything

The mystery of Tarrare: the man who could eat anything

You can call Tarrare anything, but boring is not one of them. He was a strange man who could have a wheelbarrow of food poured through his throat and still stay hungry. However, was he always the same? His life story is one of the most disturbing and bizarre tales of all times.

The strange story of Tarrare. The man who ate live cats, puppies and snakes. Photo: Tarrare
Source: Facebook

This Frenchman has gone down in history for his voracious appetite and disgusting eating habits. Tarrare could and he did eat the most appalling things. Strange enough, he could eat them all day without gaining weight.

Was Tarrare real?

The strange man is believed to have been born in 1772. He was a soldier in the French Revolutionary Army. With his inhuman love for food, the army quadrupled his rations. This, however, was not helpful because he would eventually eat enough food to feed four men and still scavenge for leftovers.

Strange enough, he always looked starved and always seemed constantly tired and distracted. The young man showed every sign of undernourishment, even though he was eating enough to feed a small barrack.

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Tarrare medical condition

Tarare medical condition
The hungriest man in the world is unbelievable! From #trash to #corpses and even raw organs; this man ate anything and everything! Photo: Tarrare
Source: Instagram

The young boy was hardly an image of good health. It was very difficult for doctors to understand Tarrare's anatomy. He had unusual soft hair and an abnormally wide mouth in which his teeth were heavily stained. The young man stunk to such a degree that he could not be endured within a distance of twenty paces. Additionally, his eyes and cheeks would become bloodshot, and a visible vapour would rise from his body.

This made him lethargic, during which time he could belch noisily, and his jaws would make swallowing motions. To this day, no one knows what he was suffering from. Some have guessed that he suffered from some kind-of polyghapia. This is a condition characterised by uncontrollable hunger and ridiculously high metabolism. This, however, does not explain his cannibalistic binges.

Tarrare cause of death

Tarrare death
Tarrare ate everything including snakes. At one point, he snatched a stray cat and ate it infront of his doctor. Photo: Tarrare
Source: Instagram

In 1798, he showed up at a hospital in Versailles. He was so ill and could barely rise from his hospital bed. The young man believed that his troubles stemmed from swallowing a golden fork. Doctors, however, diagnosed him as suffering from advanced tuberculosis. One month later, he was struck with terrible diarrhea. Unfortunately, Tarrare death happened a few days later.

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Tarrare autopsy report

When doctors performed an autopsy on his body, they described his organs as putrefied and covered in pus. His stomach was so big and filled up his entire abdominal cavity. The boy's liver was abnormally large, while the rest of his organs were smaller than average.

The opening from his mouth to his stomach was so wide where someone could look inside his mouth and see all the way down to his stomach. This was so horrifying, and it was difficult to breathe because of his smell that the doctors had to stop halfway and give up.

Tarrare baby scandal

At one point, during his stay in the hospital, the most disturbing detail of his short life is that the hospital believed that he had eaten a 14-month toddler. The baby disappeared during his stay there. He was chased out of the hospital although he was never formally charged with the murder.

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Tarrare portrait

What did Tarrare look like? Several Tarrare paintings exist on the web today. However, it should be noted that they are just images trying to portray what the young man looked like. The internet has also gone crazy with many people now posting Tarrare memes.

Interesting facts about Tarrare

He was one of the most gifted and abominable people in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. Below are some of the dark truths about the man who could eat anything.

1. Theatre of the Macabre

Tarrare disease
As a teenager, he was kicked out of his family because he consumed so much food. Photo: Tarrare
Source: Instagram

The strange man earned his living by becoming part of a travelling act. Before the con-artist took to the stage, he would warm up the audience with his insatiable appetite. He would start by swallowing stones and corks and end up consuming an entire bag of apples. His antic hid a dark secret. His huge appetite would distract the crowd as the theatre troupe snuck among them and picked their pockets.

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2. He stole what he could not afford

Tarrare disease and insatiable appetite pretty much forced him into a life of crime. He needed to eat so much so frequently that he had no choice but to beg for food. If passersby were not feeling generous, he would steal to get his fill.

3. Excess skin

At first sight, the Frenchman looked normal. However, the longer you stared at him, the stranger he began to appear. He had eerily lips and discolored teeth. If he lifted up his shirt on a day he had not had enough to eat, an astonishing amount of loose skin would be seen.

4. Body size

His stomach was cartoonish in its varying sizes. If the boy had not eaten enough, his stomach would lie flat and mostly consist of loose skin. After an enormous meal, it would expand, growing larger and larger until it looked like a large balloon.

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5. A Rhonish Renfield

As his appetite grew, the boy began snatching birds from trees to eat them. As a result, he could vomit up indigestible hair and fur. Under the gaze of a surprised doctor, the young man seized a stray cat, tore it open with his teeth, and drank its blood.

Tarrare was probably one of the seven deadly sins that prowled the cobbled streets of 18th-century Paris, seeking to indulge his endless hunger. In his early life, his dietary needs started robustly but were otherwise innocent. Things, however, took a sinister turn when his quenchless appetite continued growing to the point that he ingested animals for sustenance.

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