Men have accomplished some amazing feats. They’ve invented airplanes and artificial hearts and robots who can learn complex choreography. But then there are men who have accomplished deeds that are just way, way, out of the ordinary. Click through for the list.
Ratu Udre Udre
This 19th-century Fijian chief holds a world record you may never have known existed until now: most prolific cannibal. Reports say he ate anywhere from 872 to 999 people, keeping a stone for each, which were put alongside his tomb when he died. He was the last reported cannibal in the area before it was settled by the British.
His son said that he treated human meat like Eskimos treat their prey, by consuming or preserving every part. Waste not want not.
Major Tom Harnett Harrisson
Harrisson, or the “Barefoot Anthropologist,” was a British soldier, journalist, explorer, and museum curator.
After being approached by an Australian Special Operations executive, he was parachuted into Borneo with seven Australian special operatives on March 25, 1945. Their job was to collect enough intelligence to launch an attack against the Japanese. They did it by rallying—wait for it—the native head-hunters.
Harrisson is now known for launching the most successful Australian special-ops attack of World War II. Harrisson and his outlandish army captured 1,500 Japanese, without losing a single one of their own.
Qin Shi Huang
Already impressive for having become the first emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huang took it to another level. He—like many great men—feared the end of his rule, so he sent hundreds of men and women out to search for the elixir of life. He burned almost all Chinese literature as a way to force scholars’ focus toward the emporer’s immortality. Underground tunnels were even made between his more than 200 castles so he wouldn’t be exposed to death and evil spirits. Ironically, his obsession killed him in the end. He took mercury pills, which, of course, were said to be able to make him live forever.
Everything about this 68-year-old Vietnamese man is normal. Except that he hasn’t slept in 33 years. In 1973 he was struck with an unexplainable fever and hasn’t slept once since then.
Amazingly, this anti–Rip Van Winkle is perfectly healthy. According to ThanhNiem New, he is still able to carry two 50-kilogram bags (about 110 lbs) of pig feed down a four-kilometer road (about two and a half miles) every day. His mental state is also completely intact (although I personally have no idea what he would do to keep himself from going crazy). It was only in October 2006 that he said he was feeling “like a plant without water.”
The goat of human beings. Lotito was a French entertainer known as Monsieur Mangetout (Mister Eat-it-all) because he literally ate it all—everything from a bike tire to a television to an entire plane, a 1,111 lb. Cessna 150, which took him roughly two years to finish. Metal, glass, rubber—he did it all, thanks to the tank he calls a stomach and intestine. The lining of each were twice as thick as a normal person’s, and contained twice as much acid. Believe it or not, he hardly suffered ailments from his garbage-truck diet. He died of natural causes at the age of 57.