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Why are we so drawn to the idea of people eating each other?
Honestly I'm feeling left out.
Blood-chilling photos on a cell phone found by a construction worker have led to the capture of a suspected cannibal couple in Russia, who according to local media ate over two dozen people after committing murders over a period spanning 20 years. The allegations covered by various media outlets are nothing short of spine-chilling.
According to initial reports, the couple, from Russia’s Krasnodar Region, has allegedly been involved in the gruesome practice since 1999. It was also said that the couple was in fact responsible for the deaths of up to 30 people.
The couple reportedly manufactured canned human meet for their own stockpile and to feed to the servicemen in the nearby military school, where the woman worked as a nurse.
Seven packs of body parts, 19 samples of human skin, and human remains pickled in jars were all found in the freezer and cellar of the Krasnodar house of horrors, according to Russian media reports.
Officials have so far not confirmed the allegations, although the details revealed by the authorities are shocking.
The horrendous story began to unfold when construction worker Roman Khomyakov arrived at a police station in the Krasnodar Region of southern Russia on September 11, greatly disturbed by the sickening images on a phone he’d found on the street.
In the isolated highlands of Papua New Guinea once lived a tribe of people called the Fore. The Fore were untouched by the outside world until the 1930s, and unstudied until the 1950s. When researchers finally made their way to the highlands, they discovered that an epidemic called the "laughing death" was killing women and young children. The "laughing death" was caused by eating human meat.
According to NPR, the Fore people ate their dead instead of burying them to protect them from worms and maggots. Better in the stomach of a loved one than in the stomach of a grub, so the Fore thought. Even better was the stomach of a female loved one, because her body could tame the dead's spirit. So the women scooped out the brains to cook and roasted the bodies, sneaking tidbits to their young children. And they were getting really sick. The disease, called kuru, caused the ill to lose control of their bodies and their emotions. Eventually, they died.
What baffled researchers, according to NPR, was that kuru wasn't a virus or a living bacteria. Instead, it was a strange process that researchers compared to Dr. Jekyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde—the thin line between good and evil crossed by a twisted protein, one that tricked other proteins in the brain to twist like it, damaging the brain's cerebellum.
The Fore people stopped eating their dead half a century ago, but the epidemic spanned years, with the last victim of kuru dying in 2009—the disease can lie dormant for years before attacking the brain. But similarly confusing diseases are still out there, like mad cow disease, which also originates in infected meat. Just not, you know, human meat.
“Tissue culture ‘clean meat’ already in 2018?” Dawkins tweeted to his 2.7 million Twitter followers on March 3.
“I’ve long been looking forward to this. … What is human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism? An interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus ‘yuck reaction’ absolutism.”