Plane-eater: story of man who munched Cessna 150

Admit it – we all tend to eat our ways through isolation times. While some of us can’t resist the never-ending temptation to open the fridge door, others try sticking to diets, or suddenly discover new food habits. Speaking of uncommon food addictions, did you know there once was a man who ate… an entire plane?

Becoming Michel Lotito – the man who fancied planes for breakfast

Born in 1950 in Grenoble, France, Michel Lotito showed an uncanny ability to eat non-organic items in early childhood. Aged 6, the boy ate his first glass tumbler to make a splash among his peers. Well, he surely did, and wider recognition for his extraordinary talent would not be long in coming.

Quickly, his weird ability turned into a meteoric career. From TV set parts he casually nibbled at home, to glass chandeliers and beds; he would soon discover the audience was eager to pay for a performance like that. At age 16, Lotito started going public. 

During his shows, he consumed multiple kinds of items made of metal and plastic and experimented with more dangerous goods, like nails. Strikingly, he never suffered from any ill effects. 

No bananas, just metallic parts

However, it wasn’t a sheer desire to entertain Lotito was driven by. He actually had an eating disorder called pica, which attributed to his affection for non-nutritive substances. While most people suffering from pica are more drawn to plastic or dirt, some rare cases (like Lotito’s) show that metals can also seem delicious for people with this condition.

The predilection for metals was accelerated by incredibly powerful digestive juices, which altogether enabled Lotito with the capacity to digest tough materials. Surprisingly, soft food like bananas, porridge or boiled eggs, made him sick. Doctors who scrutinized Lotito’s case found out that his unusual diet thickened his stomach lining twice the size of a regular. 

Nicknamed Monsieur Mangetout (Mr. Eat-Everything), the man with an iron gut was a true brain teaser for a medical society. His daily ration included approximately one kilogram of metal. Bicycles, TV sets, and supermarket carts were among the bizarre items regularly found on his menu. And eventually, there was his most sumptuous meal – a Cessna 150.

Long way to declustering and devouring Cessna 

It took Lotito two years to consume a Cessna 150. This light aircraft designed for flight training needed to be knocked down before hitting the plate. 1,100 kilograms of aluminum, vinyl, steel, rubber, and Plexiglass – quite a challenge, indeed.

From 1978 to 1980, Lotito would cut aircraft parts in small pieces and consume them with mineral oils as a lubricant to help them get through the throat. He would then drink it up with a lot of water – this is what his regular metal-eating routine looked like.

At some point, Lotito realized that portions of Cessna were not small enough. So, he decided to ground the plane parts into powder and mixed it with food. 

Strangely enough, Lotito seemed to be unaffected by eating toxic materials. The doctors shrugged, eventually coming to the conclusion that his body got adjusted to potentially dangerous substances. In fact, Lotito’s organism was not that much different from everybody else’s, doctors pointed out, attributing his digestive superpowers to a mental condition.

A Cessna 150, a washing machine, 7 TV sets, and a metal coffin brought Lotito an honorable entry in the Guinness World Record Book as an adept of the craziest diet. He also was awarded a memorable brass plaque, which – to no one’s surprise – ended up in his belly.

Michel Lotito died at the age 57 of natural causes.


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