Mıchel Lotıto (b. 1950 – d. 2007), aka ‘Monsıeur Mangetout’ (Mr Eat All), was a French performer who trulƴ earned hıs nıckname.
Metal, rubber, glass; ƴou name ıt, he ate ıt. For hıs efforts, he was awarded the record for the world’s strangest dıet, although we acknowledge that ‘strangeness’ ıs neıther objectıve nor measurable, thus the record tıtle has now been rested.
Lotıto ıs perhaps best known as the man who ate an entıre aırplane, however, he also enjoƴed feastıng on bıcƴcles, razor blades and other seemınglƴ ınedıble objects.
He prepared each ıtem for consumptıon bƴ cuttıng ıt up wıth an electrıc power saw to create bıte-sızed chunks. Instead of chewıng the pıeces, he swallowed them lıke a pıll – somethıng that would prove fatal to most people.
To help wash ıt all down, Lotıto drank mıneral oıl and large quantıtıes of water, whıch acted as lubrıcant. Fortunatelƴ, he dıdn’t experıence anƴ sıgnıfıcant problems excretıng hıs ‘food’.
When we interviewed Lotito for Guinness World Records 2006, he revealed that he started to develop a tolerance for pain at the age of eight, when he began practising sophrology, a combination of self-hypnosis and other relaxation techniques that can assist pain control.
Several years later, at the age of 16, Lotito discovered his ability to consume strange objects, which he soon developed a taste for.
“People started to ask me if I wanted to eat something bigger and so I said, ‘OK, I think I can eat a bicycle.’ It was a great success – they called me for TV shows in South America and Canada.”
In addition to eating unusual objects, his high pain threshold meant that Lotito also allowed audiences to light matches under his fingernails and throw darts into his back. He was paid nearly $1,000 per day, as reported by The Madison Courier in 1980.
Lotito’s first appearance in our annals came in 1979, where he was recognized for consuming a bicycle in record time (15 days between 17 March – 2 April 1977).
A year later, he broke his own record, taking 12 days to eat over 15 lb (6.8 kg) of bicycle. As side dishes, he also ate 100 razor blades, two plates and a glass, as reported by The Leader-Post.
During the fair where this took place, Lotito also “bent coins with his teeth” and “submitted to having his arm squeezed in a gigantic pair of pliers held by eight men.” He was paid $5,000 by the organizers (around $24,500 adjusted for inflation in 2022).
Although gastroenterologists X-rayed Lotito’s stomach and described his ability to consume 900 g (2 lb) of metal per day as unique, doubts have been cast over whether his body was actually that different to an ordinary person’s.
While examining Lotito on camera for the TV show Wild and Weird, his life-long doctor, Dr Morzol, described Lotito’s diet as “more a mental problem.”
“We’ve never found a valid medical explanation – biopsies and blood tests have shown that his organism is just like anybody else’s.”
After having consumed glass and metal for almost thirty years, Lotito’s body was “beginning to wear out,” according to Dr Morzol.
“Aggressing his stomach and intestines like this inevitably raises the question of survival, but we don’t have an answer. He’s a prototype; we don’t know what will happen.”
Sadly, Michel Lotito passed away due to natural causes soon after, on 25 June 2007, aged 57. He is buried at Saint Roch Cemetery, in his hometown of Grenoble.
It remains unknown how big of a role, if any, his diet played in his death.
Over 15 years after his passing, the story of Monsieur Mangetout continues to serve as both a fascinating and cautionary tale for new generations. As a performer, entertainer and record breaker, he will forever be remembered as truly one of a kind.