Human cannibalism

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Human cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh or internal organs of other human beings.wikipedia
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A person who practices cannibalism is called a cannibal.
Human cannibalism is well-documented, both in ancient and in recent times.

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571

Alfredo DelgadoAndes flight disasterFlight 571
Famous examples include the ill-fated Donner Party (1846–47) and, more recently, the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 (1972), after which some survivors ate the bodies of dead passengers.
Facing starvation and death, the survivors reluctantly resorted to cannibalism.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffery DahmerDahmerErnest Miller (victim)
Additionally, there are cases of people suffering from mental illness engaging in cannibalism for sexual pleasure, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Albert Fish.
Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts—typically all or part of the skeleton.

Māori people

MāoriMaoriNew Zealand Māori
Cannibalism has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the Amazon Basin to the Congo to the Māori people of New Zealand.
A fierce warrior culture included hillforts known as pā and cannibalism.

Essex (whaleship)

Essexwhaleship ''EssexObed Hendricks, William Bond and Joseph West
The survivors of the shipwrecks of the Essex and Méduse in the 19th century are said to have engaged in cannibalism, as did the members of Franklin's lost expedition and the Donner Party.
This was an immense distance from known shores for the whalers, and the crew had heard rumors that cannibals populated the many islands of the South Pacific.


WindigoThe WendigoWendigos
The wendigo is a creature appearing in the legends of the Algonquian people.
Although descriptions can vary somewhat, common to all these cultures is the view that the wendigo is a malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being.

This Horrid Practice

This Horrid Practice: The Myth and Reality of Traditional Maori Cannibalism (2008) by New Zealand historian Paul Moon received a hostile reception by many Maori, who felt the book tarnished their whole people.
The book is a comprehensive survey of the history of human cannibalism among the Māori of New Zealand.

Human sacrifice

ritual murdersacrificedsacrifice
There is universal agreement that some Mesoamerican people practiced human sacrifice, but there is a lack of scholarly consensus as to whether cannibalism in pre-Columbian America was widespread.
Closely related practices found in some tribal societies are cannibalism and headhunting.

Mercenaries of the ancient Iberian Peninsula

Spanish mercenariesmercenariesBalearic slingers
In the same war, Gaius Terentius Varro once claimed to the citizens of Capua that Barca's Gaul and Spanish mercenaries fed on human flesh, though this claim seemed to be false.
Hispanic mercenaries were coveted for their toughness, discipline and skill, aside from their weapons, and not less for their ferocity; it was believable abroad that peninsulars even practiced cannibalism, like other barbarians supposedly did.

R v Dudley and Stephens

R v. Dudley and StephensR. v. Dudley and StephensRegina v. Dudley & Stephens
The case of R v Dudley and Stephens, in which two men were found guilty of murder for killing and eating a cabin boy while adrift at sea in a lifeboat, set the precedent that necessity is no defence to a charge of murder.
It concerned survival cannibalism following a shipwreck and its purported justification on the basis of a custom of the sea.


The wechuge is a demonic cannibalistic creature that seeks out human flesh.
They are described as malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural beings.

Hannibal Monomachus

Polybius records that Hannibal Monomachus once suggested Hannibal Barca to teach his army to adopt cannibalism in order to be properly supplied in his travel to Italy.
He is most famous for wrongly prophesying that during the march from Spain to Italy, the Carthaginians would likely run out of supplies and would need resort to cannibalism.


demonsevil spiritevil spirits
The wechuge is a demonic cannibalistic creature that seeks out human flesh.
The spirit is believed to possess people who then become cannibals.

Christopher Columbus

ColumbusCristoforo ColomboColón
In Spain's overseas expansion to the New World, the practice of cannibalism was reported by Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean islands, and the Caribs were greatly feared because of their supposed practice of it.
One of the first skirmishes between Native Americans and Europeans since the time of the Vikings occurred on 14 November, when at Saint Croix, Columbus's men rescued two native boys from several cannibalistic Island Caribs.

How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman

Como Era Gostoso o Meu FrancesComo Era Gostoso o Meu Francês
(see human placentophagy) In modern Brazil, a black comedy film, How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman, mostly in the Tupi language, portrays a Frenchman captured by the indigenous and his demise.
After using cannon powder provided by the Frenchman to defeat the Tupiniquins in battle, the Tupinambás eat the Frenchman as celebration.

Leopard Society

Leopard menThe Human Leopards Society
In West Africa, the Leopard Society was a cannibalistic secret society that existed until the mid-1900s.
The Leopard Society was a West African secret society active in the early- to mid-20th century that practiced cannibalism.

Tupinambá people

In early Brazil, there is reportage of cannibalism among the Tupinamba.
The Tupinambás were abundantly described in André Thevet's 1572 Cosmographie universelle (English: The New Found World, or Antarctike), in Jean de Léry's Histoire d'un voyage faict en la terre du Brésil (English: History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil) (1578), and Hans Staden's Warhaftige Historia und beschreibung eyner Landtschafft der Wilden Nacketen (English: True History: An Account of Cannibal Captivity in Brazil), in which he describes the Tupinamba practicing cannibalism.

William Seabrook

William Buehler SeabrookSeabrookW. B. Seabrook
Prior to 1931, The New York Times reporter William Buehler Seabrook, in the interests of research, obtained from a hospital intern at the Sorbonne a chunk of human meat from the body of a healthy human killed in an accident, then cooked and ate it.
William Buehler Seabrook (February 22, 1884 – September 20, 1945) was an American occultist, explorer, traveler, cannibal, and journalist, born in Westminster, Maryland.

Armin Meiwes

Bernd Jürgen Armando BrandesBernd Jürgen BrandesThe Meiwes Case
In 2001, Armin Meiwes from Essen, Germany killed and ate the flesh of a willing victim, Bernd Jürgen Brandis, as part of a sexual fantasy between the two.
Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher).

Alexander Pearce

During one of these escapes he allegedly became a cannibal, murdering his companions one by one.

Issei Sagawa

Issei Sagawa, also known as Pang, is a Japanese man who, while living in Paris in 1981, killed and cannibalized a Dutch woman.

Custom of the sea

draw straws
Among these customs is the practice of cannibalism among shipwrecked survivors, by the drawing of lots to see who is to be killed and eaten so that the others might survive.

Chichijima incident

cannibalismChichi JimaChichi-jima
Another well-documented case occurred in Chichi-jima in February 1945, when Japanese soldiers killed and consumed five American airmen.
Tachibana, alongside 11 other Japanese personnel, was tried in August 1946 in relation to the execution of U.S. Navy airmen, and the cannibalism of at least one of them, during August 1944.

Idi Amin

Idi Amin DadaAminAmin Dada
In the 1970s the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was reputed to practice cannibalism.
Amin became the subject of rumours, including a widespread belief that he was a cannibal.

Alferd Packer

Alfred PackerColarado CannibalColorado Cannibal
The following statement can be found in the inlay of this album: "This album is dedicated to the memory of Alfred Packer, the first American cannibal (R.I.P.)"