Cannibalism is the ultimate human taboo. No one wants to talk about it, but it very much exists in human history. The thought of eating another person would, at the very least, make most people sick to their stomach. And for good reason. Cannibalism is a twisted, disgusting, and vile practice. However, as we’ll soon discover, plenty exceptions exist to that rule, and some people have been pushed to violent ends in order to survive. Think you can stomach hearing about it? Here are 25 Disturbing Facts About Cannibalism.
Humans and their ancestors regularly practiced cannibalism.
It might not be an easy thing to stomach, but humans and their ancestors regularly practiced cannibalism thousands of years ago. Homo antecessor, for instance, would eat people even when there was wildlife available. They held cannibal feasts with rivals on the menu. When Humans and Neanderthals walked the Earth together, they supplemented their diets by eating each other.
Humans aren't very nutritious.
Though our early ancestors did feed on each other, they weren’t doing themselves any nutritious favors. A dead mammoth could feed a village of Neanderthals for a month, while a human would barely be an adequate lunch. Humans couldn’t match the calories of plenty of other food sources.
Endocannibalism is just one of many forms of cannibalism.
“Endocannibalism” is just one of many forms of cannibalism. It’s the ritual of eating a family member after they have died. In Papua New Guinea, the Fore tribe passed down this ritual for generations. The ritual was very specific and involved eating certain body parts of certain family members. For example, a sister had to eat her brother’s brain or the hands of her brother-in-law.
Cannibalism is common in the animal kingdom.
While cannibalism is a big human taboo, it’s surprisingly common in the animal kingdom. Black widow spiders will frequently eat the male spider after mating. Mothers have been known to eat their own young. Even some young end up eating their mothers.
Chimpanzees are known to be cannibals.
Chimpanzees are the closest animal relative to humans, and in rare cases, they’ve been known to kill and eat each other. In one case, a group of thirty chimpanzees rebelled, killed, and cannibalized their leader. Researchers believe the dispute could have been over sex.
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