Tarrare was born around 1772 in Lyon, France. From an early age, he showed his futility by eating a few pounds of meat a day and refusing to do anything. Too fed up with the odd child, the parents kicked Tarrare out of the house, partly because he couldn’t afford to support his bottomless belly.
Living on the street, with no pennies in his pocket, but hunger still doesn’t let go, so will Tarrere die soon? The answer is no, he wanders around the top of the street, digging for trash, stealing junk to find food. He decided to join a bizarre circus street with a group of prostitutes, gangsters all over France, to feed by performing and pickpocketing the audience.
An illustration of Tarrare’s life
Strangely, Tarrare’s godly “talent” made everyone so surprised that they did not care about being stolen money. According to one witness’s record: “His unusually large monstrous mouth and jagged teeth would open wide enough that he could pour a whole basket of apples over his mouth and hold a dozen of them against his cheeks. a chipmunk “.
More disgusting, he even captured a living cat with teeth, then bit to death, suck blood and eat the pitiful animal, leaving only the skeleton before all the joy and disgust of the crowd. . He does the same thing with wild dogs and eels that live in the river.
The painting “Der Völler” by Georg Emanuel Opitz in 1804 was inspired by Tarrare.
At the age of 17, he weighed only 45 kg and despite eating live animals and trash, Tarrare was healthy. In the eyes of the French scholars, he seemed just a young, insatiable, inexplicable greed from a scientific perspective.
In 1792, he enlisted and became a soldier serving the French Revolution, but it seems that France did not need a glutton in the army at that time. In the barracks, the rations could not satisfy Tarrare’s bottomless stomach, so he had to regularly scavenge to eat. Although he ate 4 times as much as a normal person, but he still cried out hunger, which made the military medical curious and decided to study about this guy.
During the research, he made the team of doctors and doctors terrified by eating clean meals for 15 people, devouring a large fish, eating a cat. Doctors immediately filed a request to expel this monstrosity from the army to avoid affecting the morale of the soldiers.
However, a man at that time still insisted that Tarrare could help his country: General Alexandre de Beauharnais. France was at war with Prussia now and the general believed Tarrare’s strange illness would make him the perfect messenger.
General Alexandre de Beauharnais
General de Beauharnais conducted an experiment: He put a document inside a wooden box, let Tarrare eat it, then waited for him to discharge. Then, the baron forced some unlucky soldier to clean up Tarrare’s mess and took out the box to see if the documents were intact.
Unexpectedly, the move was completely fine – and Tarrare was assigned his first mission. Disguised as a Prussian peasant, he sneaked through enemy lines to pass the top secret message to an captured French colonel. The letter will be hidden inside a box, safely wrapped inside Tarrare’s stomach.
However, the stench on Tarrare’s body and head, dazed by eating, immediately attracted the attention of the Prussian soldiers. Soon, the Prussians discovered that this man was in fact a French spy. He was tortured, undressed, and searched that same day. Too painful and hungry, Tarrare revealed the secret letter in her stomach.
Image illustrated for the war between France and Prussia in 1792
However, all the Prussian general found inside the box was just a note asking the receiver to tell if Tarrare had successfully delivered it or not. As it turns out, General de Beauharnais still didn’t trust Tarrare enough to send him any important information. The whole thing is just a test!
The Prussian general was so angry that he ordered Tarrare to be hanged. However, once he calmed down, he felt a little pity for the poor bastard who was crying on his gallows. He immediately released Tarrare and warned that “you’d better get out of here”.
Returning to France safely, Tarrare pleaded with the generals not to force him to be the postman any more. He begged to go to battle like a normal soldier. However, unhappiness still won’t forgive this poor person …
A woodcut depicting Tarrare’s behavior
In times of desperate hunger and thirst, Tarrare was found drinking blood drawn from hospital patients and even eating the bodies of the morgue. When a 14-month-old baby disappeared and it was rumored that Tarrare had eaten him, the generals in the barracks went crazy. They chased Tarrare out, forcing him to protect himself from then on.
Four years later, Tarrare died of tuberculosis. And while operating his body, the doctors found that Tarrare’s stomach was so large that it almost filled the entire abdominal cavity. Internal organs such as the stomach, liver and gallbladder are also very large and suffer from ulcers and pus. His body was so stinky that even though curious about this patient, the doctors immediately retreated.
Although many believe that this is just an oral story to scare children, according to the notes of Pierre-François Percy, the military medical surgeon who made important contributions in the invention of Battlefield medical equipment for the French army describes the facts about Tarrare as real.
Scientists believe that Tarrare is just a pitiful person with a strange disease, tormented to the point of losing his humanity by eternal hunger.