Anyone who has ever seen The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead knows that the zombies’ main goal is to find humans to feed on. It is sick, but in their defense, their brains no longer function correctly, and only the brain stem exists, that exclusively focuses on food. For humans whose entire brains are functioning and not just the stems, cannibalism is horrible and disgusting. Here is your Zombie Diet: 10 real-life examples of humans eating humans.
Our Prehistoric Ancestors
Cannibalism goes back 900,000 years. What is known today as Spain, the Homo antecessor lived. This was an ancient relative of the human. According to a study published in the Journal of Human Evolution in 2013, these people ate one another. It is believed that they did this because humans were very nutritious. Also, they were slow and very easy to catch. They made excellent prey, ensuring that the stronger person would have a good meal.
The Neanderthals are our more recent relatives. There is evidence that they ate one another from time to time. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that this type of cannibalism occurs in different areas around the world. One was in a cave in El Sidron, Spain, which shows that cannibalism was huge in Spain for thousands of years. They also found evidence in a cave at Moula-Guercy, France, and more recently in a cave in Belgium. As if these people eating each other isn’t bad enough, they also made tools out of the remains of the people they eat.
The Biami People Of Papua New Guinea
There are several isolated cultures in Papua New Guinea that are known to have killed and eaten humans. Although though haven’t practiced cannibalism for several decades, they once did. In 2011, a British television host named Piers Gibbon visited the Biami people. They once practiced cannibalism, and they were happy to talk about it. An older member of the tribe told one alarming story. He told Piers that when two women were suspected of speaking ill of a dying husband, they killed her. After, they roasted the women over a fire like pigs, and they cut up the flesh and ate it. That is beyond disturbing, and, shockingly, they were willing to be so open about it.
The Fore People Of Papua New Guinea
The Biami Tribe isn’t the only tribe in Papua New Guinea who have been accused of cannibalism. The Fore people of Papua New Guinea also practiced this disgusting ritual. Sadly, for this tribe, eating one another led to the spread of a fatal brain disease called kuru. The epidemic caused many deaths in the tribe, but some survived because they had a gene that protected them against the disease, and other prion diseases like it, such as mad cow. The tribe stopped practicing cannibalism in the 50s, which led to a decline in the disease. Because the disease can take years to show up, members of the tribe are still getting it today. Researchers are working to understand how the genetic mutation that prevents kuru works and how to prevent other prion diseases.
The Xiximes People Of Mexico
In 2011, archaeologists found evidence of cannibalism in northern Mexico. They found dozens of human bones bearing marks of cannibalism at the ancient Xiximes settlement of Cuevas del Maguey. The bones that they found dated back to the early 1400s. The Xiximes people believed that if they ate the flesh of their enemies, that their grain harvest would flourish. When the people died out, so did their love of eating humans.
The Aztec People Of Mexico
There is proof that the Aztecs performed ritual human sacrifices, but there is also evidence that they engaged in ritualistic cannibalism. It is believed that the bodies of sacrificed victims were presented to distinguished members of the community, such as noblemen. Some experts believe that cannibalism was their way of communicating with the Gods. Others believed that people ate each other during a famine.
The Wari’ People Of Brazil
The Wari’ People of Brazil not only ate their enemies, but they also ate their own dead. They believed that eating their enemies was the best way to express their hatred and anger for them. Up until 1960, they also ate their own dead. They believed that it was a way to honor and respect deceased members of their tribe, and to help with the grieving process. Beth A. Conklin is an anthropologist at Vanderbilt University who lived with the Wari’ people for over a year. After hearing stories, she was able to publish her description in the Journal of American Ethnologist in 1995.
16th and 17th Century Europeans
Until the end of the 18th century, it was no uncommon for Europeans to seek the flesh of dead humans for medicinal purposes. Paracelsus, a 16th-century doctor believed that blood was healthy to drink. While there wasn’t much fresh blood on hand, people would stand by at executions and pay a small fee for a cup of fresh blood.
19th Century Arctic Explorers
There are plenty of stories about Arctic explorers resorting the cannibalism in a desperate attempt to survive. The doomed Franklin expedition in the 19th century tried to discover a sea route through the Canadian Arctic. The two ships in the expedition were trapped, and the people tried to trek 1,000 miles to the nearest trading post. Over the next 150-years, researchers found the remains of the explorers. They found cut marks on many of the bones, and signs of breakage and marrow extracting. These are all evidence of cannibalism.
The Aghori Cult Of India
The Aghoris is a small group of extremists who live in Varanasi, India. They worship the Hindu deity Shiva, and they believe in cannibalistic practices. They found cannibalism to be pure, and they often drank out of bowls made of human skulls.