Okay, here's a weird one. You may remember the story of Prahlad Jani, an Indian yogi who claims that he hasn't ever eaten or had a drink in the last 70 years. So-called 'scientists' have just evidently concluded a 15-day study in which they observed the man around the clock. And ABC news reports that they're baffled -- he didn't eat, didn't drink, didn't urinate, and didn't pass stool. The researchers supposedly conducted a number of tests, and found him to be "healthier than an average 40 year old." While this is certainly a hoax, it poses an entertaining thought experiment -- what if humans didn't have to eat to survive?Jani claims he hasn't had a bite to eat nor a drop to drink since childhood, and has been the subject of numerous stories and documentaries over the years. ABC News reports:
"We studied him for 15 days with him taking no water or food," Dr. Sudhir Shah told ABC News. Shah said that Jani gargled water and took baths, but consumed nothing. While thin, Jani is healthy, doctors said. "Somebody doesn't take water for seven or eight days he surely dies," Shah said.This seems absolutely crazy -- it defies all we know about human biology and nutrition. Clearly, these tests need to be verified further, and carried out with greater rigor and transparency if anyone is to believe a word of the results. After all, if there were a way for a man to live healthily for 70 years without eating, the implications on human society would be absolutely enormous. Disaster survival, resource consumption, hunger -- everything would change.
Even though this story has been reported from a slew of different outlets -- and ABC isn't exactly the National Enquirer -- count me in with the skeptics. I'm not swallowing this story any more than this man claims he's swallowed food. But it certainly makes for an enjoyable hypothetical to ponder: What if humans didn't need food or water, and could survive by an intense exercise regimen? How would that change human civilization? Sort of makes you want to write a science fiction novel, doesn't it . . .UPDATE: Despite acknowledging multiple times in the post that this is a hoax, people still are upset that I posted it. Truth be told, I just thought it was a goofy story that made me think about some fun, outlandish scenarios on an otherwise crappy Monday. I just thought folks would take to the comment boards to post light hypotheticals about a fictional world where there was no strain on resources due to food demand, not be outraged. Do I believe that a man has lived for 70 years without eating? I do not. But I obviously should not have posted it, which I did on a whim, and I apologize if anyone feels mislead. Sorry guys.