Eating is a gross thing we all do. You’ve probably never thought about how disgusting it is to chew plants and dead animals until they turn to mush because, well, you have to do it, but the first stage of the feces-making process isn’t pretty. Forget how it looks in the movies when hot, young, bendy people sensually place chocolate-covered strawberries between each other’s pursed lips — that’s movie magic and nothing more. Eating in the real world is frantically wiping drool and sauce from your mouth, doing your best to keep the gas at bay, and thinking about the sweet, sweet release of getting that button on your pants undone.
And that’s if you’re doing it right. Now, imagine someone dipping hot dog buns in water so they can slide it down their throats and finish 73 ballpark franks in 10 minutes flat, or shoving their face straight into pie after pie. That’s the kind of stuff nightmares are made of. But, as you’ll see in this list of the 15 most disgusting eating records ever, it gets much, much worse. So warn the people around you that they might be in a splash zone and get ready to lose your lunch because this is going to get rough. You’ve been warned.
Butter is a spread, not a meal. If you ever find yourself questioning that, remember this article and go get help because no one in their right mind would ever think that a stick of churned sour milk is a good choice for a main course. But, since you know what this list is about, you already know we found someone who isn’t quite all there. The lunatic in question is Don Lerman, and he’s the world’s best butter eater. He set the record for eating butter (yes, that is a thing people keep track of) by eating seven and a half salted butter sticks (about two lbs.) in five minutes flat. In that one sitting he took in nearly 4,000 calories, 49 grams of fat, and 26 grams of saturated fat, which is about how much there is in twenty quarter pounders with cheese from McDonalds. His genius remarks after he did it? “It’s not like eating ice cream or whipped cream where it gives you some great taste. Eating butter is harder than it seems.”
14. Cow Brains
Nine times out of ten, if you find yourself looking at a brain that’s not inside of a skull, something has gone horribly wrong. If you find yourself looking at 57 brains in the open air, you should call your dad because you’re probably in a cult. Whatever you do, though, chances are you won’t go to town on them the way Takeru Kobayashi did in 2014. Like a kid in a candy store (or a zombie in a brain store, more aptly), Kobayashi devoured nearly 20 pounds of cow brains in just 15 minutes. That’s about four entire brains every 60 seconds. And they were all raw. But at least he has some sense because he said he’d never do it again. Thank god!
Chances are you know that haggis is a gross food, even if you’re not sure exactly what it is. Even the name sounds gross. For those of you who are in that boat, let’s make you vomit in your mouth a little bit: haggis is a pudding made out of the internal organs of a sheep (the liver, lungs, and heart) that is traditionally cooked and served inside the animal’s own stomach. Not exactly a first date option, right? Apparently Eric Livingston doesn’t share everyone’s opinion of the Scottish delicacy (we use that word lightly), because on Oct. 8, 2008 he managed to scarf down eight pounds of that gooey goodness in just eight minutes. And he kept it all down. That has to be some kind of superpower. Getting sick yet?
Isn’t it the worst when you go to a sandwich shop and the so-called sandwich artist overloads your food with way too much mayonnaise? It’s a rich flavour and, we don’t have to tell you, it’s not exactly good for you; the average serving of mayonnaise (which is one tablespoon) contains 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat — not exactly something you want to be a staple of your diet, and definitely not something you want to eat in abundance in a short period of time. That’s why it’s amazing that Oleg Zhornitskiy still has a working heart after what he did. Zhornitskiy ate four 32-ounce bowls of the stuff in one sitting. That’s over 30,000 calories in one go! Why do so many people want to eat spreads with a spoon? Don’t do it!
Oysters are supposed to be an aphrodisiac; they’re the type of food that’s supposed to get you in the mood and rearing to go. But I guarantee you that if you saw Sonya Thomas eat them, vomit would be the only bodily fluid you’d be likely to project. On June 3, 2012 Thomas broke the Major League Eating record for oysters in a mind-blowingly gross performance: she ate 564 oysters in just eight minutes. Think about that: this woman inhaled over 70 oysters every minute of the competition — that’s more than one every second. She single-handedly caused an oyster apocalypse. Here’s hoping that record stays unbroken, because someone going faster than that would be truly disturbing.
There are two types of people when it comes to Peeps: you either love them or hate them. These sugary, marshmallow treats are shaped like chicks and bunnies and typically sold around Easter time. Unlike other entries on this list, Peeps don’t have much in terms of calories — each one only contains about 28. But they’re as empty as colonies get: each serving contains 7.2 grams of carbs, 6.8 of which are pure sugar. These things are what dentists see when they have nightmares (or maybe they see dollar signs?). But dentists be damned when Matt Stonie is in the house. On April 2, 2016 Stonie ate 200 of the little guys in five minutes. That’s 1,360 grams of sugar. And somehow he still only weighs 130 pounds. What’s his training routine and how can I get on it?
9. Pig’s Feet and Knuckles
It’s an age-old joke: don’t eat hot dogs, you don’t know what’s in them! While there may be some truth to that (hot dogs are usually made with meat that’s thrown away from other cuts that are sold), apparently that doesn’t phase some people who are more than happy to eat stuff that you’d think should wind up in a landfill even before it’s turned into a delicious, delicious hot dog. We’re talking about pig’s feet and knuckles. It just sounds gross, right? I didn’t even know pigs had knuckles and now that I do, I definitely don’t want them in my mouth. But Arturo Rios, Jr. and I are apparently very different people. On June 23, 2007 Rios set the world record for porking out on pig’s feet and knuckles by eating 2.89 pounds of the stuff in just 10 minutes. Talk about pigging out!
8. Bull Testicles
If you’re not from the Prairies, you might think this one is a joke on the list, but sadly it’s not. Known as Rocky Mountain Oysters (or Prairie Oysters in Canada), bull testicles are a delicacy eaten in the North American Midwest. And if you’re a man, I’m sorry because things are about to get squeamish; Rocky Mountain Oysters are prepared by peeling bull, pig, or sheep testicles, coating them in flour, pepper, and salt, and then frying them. Ouch! They’re then served with a dip. And even though most guys probably get sympathy pains from just reading about the cooking process, Patrick Bertoletti isn’t one of them. On Aug. 28, 2010, Bertoletti devoured a whopping 3 lbs. 11 oz of them in 10 minutes. And you thought getting kicked in the nads was bad. Let’s all take a minute to think about those sad animals.
You know something has to be good when it was first developed for soldiers on the front line during World War II and its main ingredient is pork butt (that’s not a joke). Oh wait, that’s not how it goes? SPAM has been around forever and I’m not sure anyone knows why. It’s a pre-cooked, canned meat that has almost no nutritional value. Not only that, it’s loaded with preservatives and it comes covered in a gooey gelatine that, for some reason, forms when it’s produced. It’s so bad that we even named annoying, good-for-nothing Internet messages after it. But none of that stopped Richard “The Locust” LeFevre who ate six pounds of the stuff in 12 minutes on April 4, 2004. That’s over 8,700 calories, 775 grams of fat, 290 grams of saturated fat, and 38 grams of sodium. Needless to say, that’s more than a daily recommended serving. Let this be a lesson to you: nothing good happens at an event called Spamarama.
6. Taco Bell Tacos
Everyone knows that when you eat Taco Bell it’s not just you that pays for it — your toilet bowl does, too. And that’s when you just have a serving that’s meant for one person, though we’re not sure if any amount of Taco Bell is really good for any human. This is the food company that got sued in 2011 after it was revealed that their “meat” only contained 35 per cent real meat, after all. It’s not exactly a dietary staple — unless you’re Joey Chestnut, that is. In 2011, Chestnut crammed 53 soft shell beef tacos into his mouth in 10 minutes. And he didn’t die. That’s definitely the best press they had that year. I wonder how long he spent in the bathroom after that.
When you eat 53 tacos, you need a solid desert, right? In 2013, after a solid two years of digesting (we figure that’s about how long it would take to pass all that Taco Bell), Joey Chestnut was back at breaking world eating records. His food of choice this time around? Twinkies. That’s right: the only thing other than cockroaches that are rumoured to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust. And while you may think no amount of that golden goodness could be gross, you clearly haven’t met Joey Chestnut; he ate a whopping 121 Twinkies in 6 minutes. He probably scared his doctor on his next checkup, too, because at that point he was probably more cream filling than human.
4. Pickled Beef Tongue
I understand the idea of waste not, want not, but some foods are so unappetizing that they should probably just be left on the slaughterhouse floor. This one is even worse than pig’s feet and knuckles if you can believe it, because this one can taste you while you taste it. Yes, we’re talking about pickled beef tongues (because leaving them unpickled wouldn’t be gross enough obviously). Dominic Cardo broke the world record for eating 3 lbs 3 oz of whole (can’t emphasize that enough) pickled beef tongues in 12 minutes. There’s no word yet on whether or not it made him a better kisser, though.
3. Jalapeño Peppers
Have you ever met a “hot sauce guy?” You know the type I’m talking about, the person who only buys hot sauces from boutique shops filled with peppers you’ve never heard of and carries a bottle with them everywhere. They rant about ghost peppers and turn up their nose at the mention of habaneros. To these people, jalapeños are nothing. But let’s see them try and do what Patrick Bertoletti did on May 1, 2011 without puking up all of their entrails. Bertoletti ate 275 whole pickled jalapeños in eight minutes during a Major League Eating competition. He sweat profusely and his face was beet red by the end, but he lived to tell the tale. He also became the only person who probably rivalled Joey Chestnut in toilet destruction after he ate his 53 Taco Bell tacos in 10 minutes.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Speaking of Joey Chestnut, another entry on this list proves why the man is a disgusting eating legend. After already holding records for dinner and dessert foods, he had to cover another side of the food realm so he made his way to breakfast. On Oct. 5, 2013 Chestnut had a nice, leisurely meal. Of course, his definition of what this is differs from most people because he ate 141 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes. That’s nearly 11,000 calories, 705 grams of fat and 225 grams of saturated fat. He’s lucky it was an all-you-can-eat competition. Here’s hoping he skimped a little on the side dishes. Maybe don’t get the bacon and hash browns on the side.
This is a rare entry that doesn’t come from the world of Major League Eating because, well, what Ken Edwards decided to make his money eating isn’t exactly food; he ate cockroaches. That’s right, Edwards made his name by eating something that gets houses condemned when they move in. He broke the world record for eating cockroaches (again, yes that is a thing people actually keep track of) by eating 36 live roaches in one minute while appearing on the Guinness Book of World Records TV show back in 2009. His take on the whole experience? “It’s like having an anesthetic at the back of the throat,” because of the chemical that the gruesome bugs emit to keep predators at bay. Please excuse me while I throw up. Thank God this is the last entry.