What Happened to Tarrare, the Man Who Could Never Be Full

Ever wanted to devour a horse because you were that hungry? For most of us, that’s just an expression, but for Tarrare, it was a reality. This scrawny 18th-century Frenchman had an appetite so monstrous, so unstoppable, that he would eat literally anything in sight. 

We’re talking live animals, silverware, stones, entire corpses - nothing was off the table for Tarrare. His bizarre eating habits and bottomless stomach soon made him a medical curiosity across Europe.

Doctors and naturalists were fascinated by this oddity of nature and sought to understand what could drive a man to eat constantly and consume such a bizarre diet. But Tarrare’s strange story doesn’t end there.

His voracious appetite may have gotten him into a bit of trouble, and his weird tale culminates in a rather gruesome end. Curious to know what happened to the man who ate everything he saw? Read on to learn the bizarre and unsettling story of Tarrare, the hungriest man in history.

Tarrare's Insatiable Appetite: The Man Who Was Never Full

Tarrare was a Frenchman in the 1700s with an appetite so huge, no amount of food could satisfy him.

His strange eating habits began as a child when his parents couldn't afford enough food for the family. By his teens, Tarrare would eat live animals in front of shocked crowds.

When Tarrare joined the army, his appetite only grew. He would scavenge for spoiled meat and eat entire baskets of apples, leaving nothing for his fellow soldiers. The army even conducted experiments to test his eating limits but even after downing a meal for 15 people, he remained ravenous.

Tarrare's hunger constantly tormented him. When no food was available, he would guzzle water until his stomach bulged. He was accused of eating a toddler at one point, though it was never proven. His appetite seemed to know no bounds.

Doctors were baffled by the man with the insatiable appetite and bottomless stomach. Some believed his excessive eating was due to a tapeworm. Surgeons once operated on Tarrare but found his organs to be normal. His strange behavior and huge appetite eventually led to his dismissal from the army.

Tarrare's story is a bizarre tale of a man whose hunger could never be satisfied no matter how much he ate. His unusual appetite and ability to eat nearly everything in sight made him a medical marvel and monster. Though the details of Tarrare's life remain murky, his legend as the man who could never be full lives on.

His Bizarre Eating Habits and Success as a Performer

Tarrare’s eating habits were beyond bizarre. As a performer, he would gobble up live animals in front of audiences, swallowing them whole. We’re talking cats, dogs, snakes, lizards - you name it.

If live critters weren’t available, he’d devour pounds and pounds of raw meat, often not even bothering to chew. His favorites were said to be eels and puppies. The guy was like a human garbage disposal.

  • He needed to eat constantly to feel satisfied. We’re talking 20-30 pounds of food in a single sitting, multiple times a day. His stomach seemed bottomless.

  • His appetite was so ferocious that he was dismissed from the French military for eating his comrades' rations and a hospital for gobbling up corpses in the morgue.

  • Doctors who examined him were baffled. They found his stomach and esophagus unusually large but otherwise normal. There seemed to be no medical reason for his insatiable appetite.

While Tarrare’s eating habits thrilled audiences, they also disgusted them. He was viewed as a medical oddity and struggled to find work. His bizarre ability ultimately led to his demise at just 26.

After being hospitalized for swallowing a golden fork, his condition worsened, and he died shortly after. An autopsy revealed that his stomach was enlarged and filled with pus, the likely result of a lifetime of overeating and consuming things no human ever should.

What a strange and tragic story of a man who could never satisfy his hunger. His peculiar case remains a medical mystery and bizarre curiosity to this day.

Tarrare's Mysterious Death: What Really Happened?

Mysterious Illness

Tarrare’s strange eating habits and massive appetite eventually caught up to him. In his mid-20s, he was hospitalized with a mysterious illness that caused him severe abdominal pains, nausea, and weakness. Doctors could not determine the cause of his ailment or provide any relief.

Some historians believe Tarrare may have had a rare genetic disorder or medical condition like hyperthyroidism that increased his metabolism and appetite.

Whether due to an underlying condition or simply the result of years of overeating and consuming non-food items, Tarrare’s body started shutting down. His appetite disappeared, and he could no longer keep down the massive amounts of food he was used to eating each day.

Speculation Surrounds His Death

Tarrare was in the hospital for an extended time, but doctors were unable to diagnose or cure him. He eventually left the hospital and died shortly thereafter at the young age of 26. The exact cause of his death remains unknown.

Some theorize his death was the result of organ failure or a gastrointestinal blockage from years of overeating. 

Others believe he may have been poisoned or suffered from an infection picked up from consuming raw meat and other perishable waste over the years.

A few fringe theories even suggest Tarrare was an extraterrestrial or cryptid of some kind whose biology and metabolism differed from humans, leading to his bizarre appetite and eventual demise.

We will likely never know the true cause of Tarrare’s death or understand his strange medical condition.

His case remains one of the most bizarre and unexplained mysteries in medical history.

While Tarrare’s appetite and eating feats seemed otherworldly, perhaps the most logical explanation is that he suffered from a yet-to-be-identified medical disorder or genetic mutation. Still, his legendary life and appetite continue to both fascinate and confound us.


And so ends the strange tale of Tarrare, the man who could never be full. His bizarre medical condition and insatiable appetite led him on a journey into the bizarre and macabre.

While his story seems too weird to be true, well documented accounts from physicians at the time confirm this was no work of fiction.

His peculiar life serves as a sobering reminder of the extremes of human experience - what lies at the outer edges of possibility.

Though Tarrare met an early end, his legend lives on, a curiosity of medical history and testament to the wonders and horrors of human anatomy.

His life was short but never dull, fueled by a hunger that could not be satisfied. And you thought you were hungry after skipping lunch! Tarrare's story remains a cautionary tale of humanity's capacity for both the strange and strange.


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