By Helen Otway

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Qxd 11/6/07 5:13 pm Page 31 31 The rare but fatal brain disease kuru is also known as laughing sickness, as its victims go through a stage of bursting into laughter, before they develop ulcerations and eventually die. NASA aeroplanes used for training astronauts have the nickname ‘Vomit Comets’, as the weightlessness that passengers experience often makes them throw up. Characteristics of tetanus are muscle spasms in the jaw and difficulty swallowing, which is why the disease is also known as ‘lockjaw’.

They were later hanged for doing so. qxd 12/6/07 9:38 am Page 54 54 1001 Gruesome Facts Popular British bar snack pork scratchings are bits of deep fried pig skin… some with hair still attached. Gelatine (also known as E441) is made by boiling up animal skin, cartilage and bone for hours on end. It is added to a range of foods such as gummy sweets and jelly. New York Times journalist William Buehler Seabrook obtained a chunk of fresh human meat from a hospital so that he could cook and eat it for research.

Just ask for zungenwurst next time you’re in Germany! Kumis is a Central Asian drink, made from horse’s milk that is fermented in horse skin containers until slightly alcoholic. Gruesome Food Facts Donkey meat was eaten in Britain until the 1930s. British performance artist Mark McGowan turned himself into an English breakfast for two weeks in 2003. He sat in a bath of baked beans with two chips up his nose and 48 sausages strapped to his head. qxd 12/6/07 9:38 am Page 46 46 1001 Gruesome Facts Korean fermented soya bean paste (doenjang) smells of rotten fish.

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1001 Gruesome Facts: The Gross, the Ghoulish and the by Helen Otway
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