It's no secret that gluttony is one of the most common vices of our time. But few of today's gluttons can compare with Charles Domery, who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He had a rather rare disease - polyphagia. Charles was constantly hungry, and he ate food in gigantic volumes. Oddly enough, but he did not suffer from excess weight.
Coming from a large Polish family (née Karol Domezh), the boy was constantly hungry from childhood, but the family was unable to feed him. Then, in search of food as a thirteen-year-old teenager, he enlisted in the Prussian army, and later, in search of a better diet, deserted to the army of revolutionary France, where he took on a new name Charles Domery.
In order to understand how much Domery was gluttonous, several facts should be cited, otherwise you are unlikely to imagine that this is possible. Here are just a few documented cases of Charles' voracity.
According to the testimony of colleagues during the French service, during the year of the deployment of his unit near Paris, he caught and ate 174 cats. Sometimes he killed them before eating - but if he was too hungry, he did not even bother himself, eating animals alive.
In general, preferring meat food to vegetable, in the absence of other provisions, he ate from 1, 8 to 2, 3 kg of grass every day, when there was not even grass, he constantly smoked.
During Domery's stay on a ship transporting French naval forces to Ireland, one of the sailors had a leg blown off in battle by a cannonball. Domery grabbed the severed limb and began to eat it, until another crew member forcibly took the leg away from him and threw it overboard.
In February 1799, the ship on board, which was Domery was boarded and the voracious soldier was captured and taken to a camp for French prisoners of war on the outskirts of Liverpool. There he shocked the camp authorities with an insatiable appetite: despite the special ration allocated to him, which tenfold exceeded the ration of other prisoners, he experienced an incessant acute hunger. To understand what the standard daily ration of a French prisoner of war was at that time, we give it:
26 oz (740 g) bread, half a pound (230 g) vegetables, and 2 oz (57 g) butter or 6 oz (170 g) cheese
Charles was not given any supplements, so he took up the prison rats, the local cat, and tallow candles.
The governor of the prison was surprised at such gluttony and reported Domeri to the leadership. To check such strange information, a special medical commission arrived, in the presence of which Domery ate 7, 3 kg of raw beef udder, raw beef, about a kilogram of tallow candles and drank four bottles of porter in one day - never having experienced the urge to defecate, urinate or vomit.
Despite the unnatural diet of Domery and the constant craving for food, doctors described him as a young man of normal physique, tall - 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm), illiterate, which was common at the time, but without any mental disabilities. The measured pulse showed 84 beats per minute. In a word, Charles, according to doctors, was absolutely healthy. The only oddity was that Charles Domery was constantly perspiring in his sleep or while eating.
It is not known how the fate of the unusual soldier developed in the future, but it is reliably known that in the medical history of modern times not a single case of polyphagia was recorded, comparable in extreme to Domery's disorder.