The Guinness book of world records states that Michel Lotito died at age 57, of natural causes. But not before this competitive eater had consumed 18 bicycles, 15 supermarket carts, seven TV sets, six chandeliers, two beds, a pair of skis, a low-calorie Cessna light aircraft, and a computer.
It’s unclear what compelled Lotito to do this, and whether he was aware of the many ways he was jeopardizing his health.
First things first: No nutritionist, doctor, or even the trendiest of dieters would recommend or applaud eating a computer. But it begs a ridiculous yet perhaps equally intriguing question: Is consuming one really that dangerous? Many of the same metals that are found inside electronic devices—magnesium, iron, and sodium—are also found inside the human body. In the event of a dare, would consumption be possible?
Unfortunately, the benefits of eating a computer do not come close to outweighing the risks, many of which include death. The first potential peril is the choking hazard. Even competitive eaters have been unable to swallow much softer foods. In fact, last year, two Nathan’s contestants died after choking on a doughnut and a pancake, respectively, according to Metro News. Silicon and fiberglass are much harder to gulp down. Even Lotito cut his metallic meals into pieces that were one to two centimeters long. On top of that, anything that is long or sharp has the potential to scratch or tear the eater’s esophagus, the long tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
If you did somehow manage (like Lotito did) to pulverize the computer and then swallow it without issue, heavy metal poisoning would be your next obstacle. Circuit boards sometimes contain tiny amounts of arsenic — not enough to kill you immediately, but if you ate several computers, the dose would add up. Aluminum, a common component found in the casings of both the computer and its hard drive, has no biological function in the human body and seems to gum up normal body…