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82-year-old who claims he has not had any food or water

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    Well, I guess on the grounds of known medical science and general knowledge, this is entirely impossible so I would like to ask two things of you:

    1) What do you think of this (I understand this is a scientific forum, but perhaps the moderators will allow a certain degree of speculation)?
    2) Please keep us updated if there are any further articles in the news about this man.

    Here we are: Man claims to have had no food or drink for 70 years

    I'm not sure if such claims have previously been studied (?) but I just can't help but wonder how amazing it would be if this turns out to be true.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3


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    Gold Member

    3 weeks from now he'll be dead and we'll attribute it to old age.
  5. Apr 29, 2010 #4
    The scientific explanation is quite simple. He is a fraud, and he has survived 6 days without food or water. There is nothing unbelievable about this story at all.

    An interesting story would be that he was monitored for 6 weeks, or 6 months or 6 years and survived with no food or water. But, that's not going to happen.
  6. Apr 29, 2010 #5
    With such a ludicrous claim he has made, I readily believe he is a fraud but just to be sure, where'd you find that out?
  7. Apr 29, 2010 #6
    I didn't find it out for sure. I simply deduced it using logic and known scientific information about the human body and physics.

    It's known that the human body needs water intake to survive. It's possible to survive 6 days without water, but not too much longer than that. There are things you can do to reduce your water requirements and some people may be genetically predisposed to go longer without water. Also, it may even be possible to adapt your body to do much better than typically expected. However, in no way can a person go for years without water intake by some means.

    One of the key water losses occurs during breathing. Water vapor excapes in this way and this is typically over a kg of water per day. I suspect this person used meditation and breathing control to minmize his water needs.

    Which is more likely?

    1. This man has mystical powers than enables him to survive indefinitely without food and water.
    2. Or that he is just a fraud.

    The answer seems clear if you take a scientific interpretation of the facts.

    What information is in that story that would lend any credence to option number 1 above? Such an extrordinary claim would require considerable evidence in order to be believed by anyone, but the story has absolutely no claims of evidence at all. The only fact is that he is monitored for 6 days and has not ate nor drank. Well, even I could do that, although just barely.

    The story only becomes interesting if he can go much much longer than this. If he is still alive after a few weeks, then a scientist will ask, "How is he cheating?". He must be getting drinks by trickory. Again, which is more likely, "mystical powers" or "magician's trick". I just get out my "baloney detection kit" and the answer is clear.
  8. Apr 29, 2010 #7
    I just don't what to say about something so absurd.
    Hmmm... I think I'll have a slice of pizza and a cold beer just to calm down.
  9. Apr 29, 2010 #8
    It just occurred to me that the reference to the baloney detection kit may not be obvious. Please see the following if it's not clear.

  10. Apr 30, 2010 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Meh - I just assumed it was another Professor Frink invention, probably related to his sarcasm detector: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Professor-Frinks-Sarcasm-Detector/215577562744 [Broken]

    Useful, though - thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Apr 30, 2010 #10
    That guy should talk to David Blaine, get some tips from him, update his ****.
  12. Apr 30, 2010 #11
    What are the updates on this guy? Have they said anymore about him after yesterday?
  13. Apr 30, 2010 #12
    It is totally amazing - and quite worrying when you consider that the Indian military are now in charge of their own big ones.
  14. May 1, 2010 #13

    I wonder if there are going to be any updates on this though, or if the Telegraph only went for a once-off article for the speculation value.

    What I like about this is that at least the guy is under observation in an attempt to verify/disqualify his claim...(OK, I know that we don't know the true conditions etc etc etc but it's something).

    Most of the weird and wonderful claims I've heard of are of the "I found a yeti in the woods, but he was too quick and I got nothing" type whereas this possibly falls into the category of "I found a yeti in the woods, oh, and here's a piece of skin to test".
  15. May 1, 2010 #14
    Hoax, insanity, hoaxanity? Then again, maybe he has an abundance of chlorophyll? :rofl:
  16. May 1, 2010 #15
    :rofl: Yes, but even plants need water.

    Anyway, if he keeps this act up, he will need to be planted in the ground very soon.:rofl:
  17. May 1, 2010 #16
    Maybe he's trying to pre-mummify himself? :biggrin:
  18. May 1, 2010 #17


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    The correct scientific method would be to not dismiss it until the results are in.

    Six days without water is a long time. He should definitely be showing signs of degradation (which is what they'll look for). If he shows no signs of degradation, then they might go for a longer test.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a fraud too. But you can't claim you're giving it scientific due diligence by claiming "It just isn't true."
  19. May 1, 2010 #18
    You need to reread my posts. You are misrepresenting what I said and putting words in my mouth. You are not fooling me, nor anyone else with this tactic.
  20. May 1, 2010 #19
    The correct method is to NOT test this man, for his health if nothing else! This is a fundamentally unsafe practice, so dismissing it would be the right thing to do, followed by assessment by mental health professionals and if he likes, tissue samples. To survive with out water and food would require a radically different physiology from any form of life that is known, and I would expect to find evidence of that. You don't just let some batty old man starve and dehydrate until you see kidney functions decline! You do not test on humans this way, it's bloody criminal.
  21. May 1, 2010 #20
    It's okay. On the long run, it'll scare other nutters from trying to spread hoaxes.
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