A Bizarre Weight Loss Story – Year Without Food

By Anupum Pant

Background

What this grossly obese man did in the year 1965 is probably one of the most stupidest things you could emulate to lose weight. Doctors, and I would advice you totally against it. Yet, I felt that it’s good to know a stupid thing once in a while, in order to avoid it (maybe). Luckily, the man who did it, ended up fine and also lost several dozens of kilograms in the process. Here’s what happened…

Story time

A man who weighed 207 kg decided to go on a fast to lose weight. His fast lasted for 382 days. For the whole 1 year and 17 days, this man ate nothing. He only consumed “non-energy-containing fluids”, multi-vitamin tablets and potassium tablets. It’s important to know that he whole thing was monitored closely. It’s probably the longest reported fast. (A much much longer claimed fast – which they say lasted more than 70 years – is probably fake and pretty interesting too)

By the end of his fast, the man had lost around 126 kg of weight. That’s about 61% of his initial body weight! For the whole time, his body had used up the stored fat to power him. It was incredibly lucky for him that he did not face any adverse conditions while he was doing this. A slightly gross thing to know is that, since he wasn’t eating anything, he felt a need to use the bathroom only once in 40-50 days.

The Science of it

Normally if you don’t eat for a couple of hours, the human body is able to extract energy from the glucose in your bloodstream and liver. After about 8 hours, you no longer have any of the glucose left in your body.

Once the glucose is finished, the body starts burning a bunch off glucose molecules stuck together – known as glycogen, stored in muscles and liver. This source finishes off in about 2 days’ time. After that the body starts breaking down muscles. But that can be avoided by taking up a few defined exercise routines.

Next the body starts using up fat molecules into glycerol and free fatty acids. Everything in your body can run from this good source of energy. And that is how the fat gets lost. Surely, you don’t want to do that because you’ll end up sick, weak, depressed and cranky. You might even die if you try this.

[Source]

Bonus

Here’s an account of a person, who recently tried fasting for 11 months. Below is an image of what the fast did to him. Yes, he’s the same person (with a gap of 11 months of course). It was clearly a very bad experience. [Link]

before after

Mind Controlling Fungus Turns Insects into Zombies

By Anupum Pant

If you have played the game Last of Us on PS3, you’d know that the game is set in a time 20 years after a fungal-based, brain-altering pandemic has taken over the world and infected nearly 60% of the world’s population. Sounds too fictional. Right? Well, of course the game is fictional, but the brain-altering fungus parasite is not very far from reality.

The real fungus, Cordyceps isn’t really fatal to Human beings. However, there’s always a chance. In a very absurd way they kill insects. In fact their life cycle is totally dependent on insects. And a there are more than 1000 different kinds of these fungi, each one of which specializes on one kind of insect. What these fungi do to insects is something very incredible.

The fungus infects insect brains and turns them into zombies! Something similar to what this wasp does to cockroaches. This is how it works…

When an insect comes in contact with the spores of this parasitic fungus, they start acting in a weird manner. That is because the fungus affects its brain and turns it into a zombie, an insect zombie which takes directions from a fungus. The infected brain tells the insect to climb up. At some point, high up on a tree or plant, the insect dies and the fungus hollows the body and starts growing a shoot out of the insect. It’s bizarre to watch! (see the video below)

The fungus programs the brain to make the insect move up because its life-cycle actually benefits from it. The higher the insect goes, the better its spores can spread and can have a better reach.

The fungus is like a nature’s way of saying to an insect species that your population has reached very high levels.

Hit like if you learnt something.

The Sixth Sense, Seventh Sense and More…

By Anupum Pant

Do this. Close your eyes and try to touch the tip of your nose with an index finger. If there’s nothing wrong with you, you’ll do it right. Even with no lights on, when you can see nothing at all, you’ll be able to put food exactly in your mouth. What explains this ability. None of the 5 senses are primarily involved here. There are a couple of other senses too which justify the amount of fantastic things our bodies can do.

At school I was taught, “there are five senses” – Sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. No one ever mentioned anything more than that. Five was the number, and since it could get you demoted, scared, I never dared to question the traditional textbook science. Turns out, just like I was lied about the tallest mountain, carrots, taste areas and several other things, I just discovered that, for all my life, I had been lied about one more thing. About the number of senses.

Let’s keep aside animal senses today and see what we’ve missed in school that has to do with just human senses. Beyond the five senses we were taught about, there are at least 10 more senses that every healthy human being has. Ten, or at least a handful of them should probably be mentioned somewhere in the school textbooks to give kids the picture of what a sense exactly is. In fact, some put the number of senses humans have to as high as 21.

Kinesthesia: The one sense that I was talking at the start of this article allows you to remain precisely aware of every little muscle and joint movement. As a result, you are able to locate parts of your body without seeing or involving any of the 5 traditional senses. Let’s call it the 6th sense.

Skin Sensors: Our skins are responsible to make us feel the touch. But, the skin is in fact, much more complicated than that. The skin has at least five different kinds of specialized nerve endings. Taken one at a time, these allow you to feel pain, heat (temperature), cold (temperature), itch and pressure. So, you can count each one of them as a different kind of sensor. Consequently adding 4-5 more senses to our list.

Balance: In the presence of good amount of gravity, our bodies are naturally able to tell “Up” from “Down”. In simple words, on the earth, we are able to stand up and balance ourselves. The inner ear makes this possible. That is another sensor. You’d count it as one when you put it in a robot, but not when it is present in the human body?

Just to add, being able to perceive time is another beautifully complex sense.

And there are a couple of others too. That said, clearly, humans don’t just have 5 senses. There are more.

[Wikipedia]