Surviving On Liquids / Air / Sunlight Alone (Breatharianism; Inedia)

rynner2

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#1
NASA to study man who survives on liquids and sunlight
June 30 2003

An Indian man, who claims to have survived only on liquids and sunlight for eight years, has been invited by NASA to show them how he does it.

Hira Ratan Manek - also known as Hirachand - a 64-year-old mechanical engineer who lives in the southern state of Kerala, apparently started disliking food in 1992, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

In 1995, he went on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and stopped eating completely on his return.

His wife, Vimla, said: "Every evening he looks at the sun for one hour without batting an eyelid. It is his main food. Occasionally he takes coffee, tea or some other liquid."

Last June, scientists from the US space agency verified that Manek spent 130 days surviving only on water, the report said.

They even named this subsistence on water and solar energy after him: The HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) Phenomenon.

Mr Manek is now in the US to show NASA's scientists how he survives without food.

The US space agency hopes to use the technique to solve food storage and preservation problems on its expeditions, the report said.

Mr Manek said he "eats through his eyes" in the evening, when the sun's ultraviolet rays are least harmful. He and his wife claim the technique is totally scientific. However, doctors warn that staring at the sun can make you blind.

His wife said: "He has a special taste for sun energy. He believes only 5 per cent of human brain cells are used by most people. The other 95 per cent can be activated through solar energy."
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/29/1056825280652.html

Edit: Title modified to include Breatharian diet. P_M
 

Yithian

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#2
Cheers

I wish I had some serious input to this thread because that account is amazingly interesting. The only comparisson I can make is that years ago on Radio 4 there was an interview with a chap who claimed that modern man is a glutton and accordingly had reduced his diet to a single brown bread salad sandwich every day and lots of water. He claims to have been perfectly healthy and have lost none of his perfectly average body weight in years.
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
Sounds very much like the claims made by Jasmuheen and her Breatharian group/sect.

http://www.jasmuheen.com/

I wish that the journalist had followed up the NASA claim. It should have been a fairly simple ("who is your contact at NASA?") thing to do. You would also have thought that we would have heard about this through more "conventional" channels. Hmmm. ;)
 

Jerry_B

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#5
Re: Cheers

The Yithian said:
I wish I had some serious input to this thread because that account is amazingly interesting. The only comparisson I can make is that years ago on Radio 4 there was an interview with a chap who claimed that modern man is a glutton and accordingly had reduced his diet to a single brown bread salad sandwich every day and lots of water. He claims to have been perfectly healthy and have lost none of his perfectly average body weight in years.
Which in turn reminds me of a 'Strange Days' snippet in FT many moons ago which told of how a woman who'd only eaten popcorn for 5 years got a clean bill of health...
 

MrSnowman

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#6
In the interests of science, I'm going to try this!

It has to be said, sun squinting does recharge your batteries when you do it. Is it real, or just jiggery pokery? Only time will tell.

Just think though, if it was true, then nothing would ever need be killed again in the name of feeding anyone. Not even plants (which do emit a high pitched squeal at an inaudible (obviously) frequency when they have bits cut off them, or fruits picked.

In a roundabout way, it seems that the human body is designed for this kind of thing, what with babies taking the breast until they are a little older, and after that, they can start feeding off the sun. On a karma level, this would be the ultimate way to live, as nothing need be harmed.

Does that make sense? :confused:
 

Jerry_B

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#7
IIRC, the effects of jet lag can be be counteracted by exposure to light wavelengths similar to daylight, so there must be something in it as far as brain function is concerned.
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#8
Snowman X said:
In the interests of science, I'm going to try this!

On a karma level, this would be the ultimate way to live, as nothing need be harmed.

Does that make sense? :confused:
No, because if you breath, move, or bathe, you are killing something. There's no way around that.

(I live in a town full of vegans -- this discussion comes up often.)

:D

Oh, don't stare at the sun. You'll damage your eyes, then you won't be able to post.

:(
 
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Anonymous

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#9
Re: Man who survives on liquids and sunlight

rynner said:
"Mr Manek said he "eats through hi...com.au/articles/2003/06/29/1056825280652.html[/url]
The hypothesis is that the guy can somehow meet his energy needs by the conversion of sunlight with his eyes.

You can do a simple calculation to check this possibility out.

The solar constant, i.e. the total solar power per metre^2 at the top of the atmosphere is 1370 W/m^2. This is only true for surfaces facing directly at the sun, and at ground level it will be reduced because some of it is absorbed by the atmosphere.

The diameter of a typical pupil (i.e. the aperture that the eye collectes light through) is ~3.5 mm, giving a collection area/per eye of approx 10^-6 m^2.

This means that the power collected by each eye is 13 mW.

If he stares at the sun for a period of one hour with both eyes, then the total energy collected per day is 95 Joules.

This means that, assuming his eyes behave as advertised, each day he only collects enough energy to lift a 10 kg mass a height of 1 metre! :eek!!!!:

Notice that this is likely to be an overestimate as not only is he looking at a reduced intensity sun (more atmosphere to look through) but his pupils should also contract because he's looking at a bright thing.

Doesn't sound too plausible, does it? ;) :)
 
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Anonymous

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#10
This just annoys me. Why have millions of people starved to death in famines throughout history if it is possible to go without food & live off sunlight. Wouldn't this have been discovered before now if it was true?

It just seems to me that this is a type of eating disorder. The world is full of over weight people claiming that they've only eaten a yogurt in the last three days. No they haven't, they've stuffed their face when no one was looking and everyone knows it and neither have these people lived on sunlight. Their ideas about food are so distorted that they are believing that they don't eat anything (literally) and other people are believing it.

As for the sandwich guy - if this is possible why do anorexics die and develop health problems? I believe that when the breatharian woman was tested under lab conditions she lost weight and the experiment had to stop after a few days because she was in danger of kidney failure. I doubt these other people would do any better. Even if they have some abnormal medical condition that enables them to go without food why is this not also being seen among Ethiopian famine victims or the concentration camps or wherever. The danger is that vulnerable people are just going to read this and go off and do it.

Why is our attitude to food so distorted that NASA are investigating these things? Why are we bothering to send food aid to Africa where a famine is currently going on when they have plenty of sun out there they could all be absorbing the energy from. Oooh my blood is boiling.
 

MrSnowman

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#12
Snowman X said:
In the interests of science, I'm going to try this!

It has to be said, sun squinting does recharge your batteries when you do it. Is it real, or just jiggery pokery? Only time will tell.

Just think though, if it was true, then nothing would ever need be killed again in the name of feeding anyone. Not even plants (which do emit a high pitched squeal at an inaudible (obviously) frequency when they have bits cut off them, or fruits picked.

In a roundabout way, it seems that the human body is designed for this kind of thing, what with babies taking the breast until they are a little older, and after that, they can start feeding off the sun. On a karma level, this would be the ultimate way to live, as nothing need be harmed.

Does that make sense? :confused:
I was five hours into my working day after having had 2 hours sleep the night before when I wrote this.

Hopefully, THAT makes sense ;)
 

JamesWhitehead

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#13
There were a number of 19th Century stigmatics who claimed to exist
on fresh air and to do without wees and poos as well. Yet when the
evidence of their supposed supervision is sifted, it turns out that there
was ample opportunity for intake and output.

The exception was an unfortunate Welsh girl who believed her own
publicity and was religiously watched. She died. :(
 
A

Anonymous

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#14
zoe said:
Why is our attitude to food so distorted that NASA are investigating these things?
I'm not convinced that NASA is investigating this. If a name/contact at NASA had been given it would have been trivial to check this out. Sadly, it is also trivial to claim that "My miraculous claims are being investigated by NASA", and people seem too eager to believe it. Not only that, but they assume that "If NASA is investigating this, then there must be something in it."

Does anyone know if there is any truth in the NASA claim? (Note that my earlier calculation, showing how the energy he could absorb from the sun was insufficient to keep him alive, would be equally simple for a NASA scientist or engineer to perform. I would be surprised if they still thought his claims to be credible. ;) )
 
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Anonymous

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#16
I believe the whole item may be a hoax-
there is no statement from a NASA spokesperson for example;
this fakir could easily have been making it all up.

However the body functions of a person who lives on very little might be worth studying- perhaps that is the object of the exercise.
Animals and humans on calorie restricted diets can be healthier and live significantly longer; in zero gee you want to have an optimum intake of food because of lack of exercise and waste disposal problems.
 
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Anonymous

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#17
you could try and email a NASA press officer. surely they'd give you the truth. you can get them at :
[email protected]
sorry i couldn't make the email address into a clicky, but i can't remember the HTML markup to do it.
 
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Anonymous

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#18
Sounds a bit like Gopi Krishna who claims that ordinary food became toxic to him after he awoke his Kundalini through meditation.

He survived on small amounts of boiled chicken and milk until he died in 1984 (hopefully not from malnutrition ;) )IIRC.
 

littleblackduck

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#19
Minimum Diet

I read somewhere once that the mininum diet you can eat and remain healthy for a reasonable length of is a diet of potatoes, bananas and oranges (orange juice)--no doubt, with vitamin supplements--no B12 to start with. I have been trying to find a source for this information on the Internet without success for ages now. If anybody knows who came up with this diet, I would be obliged to know.

As for living on nothing--nobody has ever managed it under controlled laboratory conditions. One Indian holy man who made the claim was discovered digging up food buried under a corner of his (mud-floored) house.

One cult leader (I think it is the deceased founder of the Breatharians but I could be wrong--don't sue me--you'll be beaking the First Law of Litigation--Never Sue a Poor Man) was found sneaking down to town to fill up on fast food.

The idea that sunlight charges your unused brain cells--well, lot's of luck. Let me know if this works. I know a lot of people with unused brain cells, and if you can turn them into photovoltaic capacitators, then we will be one step closer to building the Matrix.

How long before somebody plugs their personal organizer into their body and uses the minute electrical potential the way those novelty clocks that run on fruit?

Which brings us back to potatoes, oranges and bananas. Circle closed.
 
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Anonymous

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#20
On this week's What's New Bob Park claimed that NASA had confirmed that they had tested Manek.

The NASA Public Affairs Office confirmed to WN that the claim is true.
However, according to Mumbai's Mid Day newspaper:

After a thorough check with all its scientific officers and regional offices throughout the US over two days, a NASA spokesperson has denied it had invited Hira Ratan Manek in any official capacity, or that it has anything to do with him.
So that's cleared that up, then!
 

rynner2

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#22
NASA: We have no record of Hira Ratan Manek

In a number of news items and web pages, it is claimed that Indian mechanic Hira Ratan Manek has replaced food with sunlight in his diet, and that NASA has confirmed his claims.

However, NASA says it has no knowledge about the guy whatsoever.

After a thorough check with all its scientific officers and regional offices throughout the US over two days, a NASA spokesperson has denied it had invited Hira Ratan Manek in any official capacity, or that it has anything to do with him.

Recent news reports had stated that Manek, a 64-year-old mechanical engineer, who claims he has not eaten in eight years and lives on water and solar energy, had been invited by NASA to New York to show them how it was done.

However, NASA spokesperson Dolores Beasley said she had no idea why press reports had claimed that NASA had invited Manek. “No one checked with us,” said Dolores, public affairs officer for biological and physical research.

“We have no record of him being involved with us. We have checked with all offices doing related research at centers such as Johnson, Marshall and Ames.”

The above article was put on the web after I wrote about the story. Still, as I wrote, it was a very obvious hoax. Thanks to an awake reader for telling me about this news item in comments.
blogs.salon.com/0001561/2003/07/05.html
Link is dead. No archived version found.


Oh well, fun while it lasted! :)
 
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phgnome

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#23
Aww, you mean to tell me that I really can't be a plant without really BEING a plant!?

For a second there, I got all geeked about it.
 

MrSnowman

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#24
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3236118.stm

"Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades - but is still in perfect health.

Prahlad Jani, a holy man, or fakir, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.

During that time, he did not consume anything and "neither did he pass urine or stool", according to the hospital's deputy superintendent, Dr Dinesh Desai.

Yet he is in fine mental and physical fettle, say doctors.

"A series of tests conducted on him show his body mechanism is that of a normal person," said Dr Desai.

Mr Jani spends most of his time in a cave near the Ambaji temple in Gujarat state.

He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this

He spent his 10 days in hospital in a specially prepared room, with a sealed-off toilet and constant video surveillance.

To help the doctors verify his claims, Mr Jani agreed to avoid bathing for his time in hospital.

The only fluid he was allowed was a small amount of water, to use as mouthwash.

One hundred millilitres of water were given to him, and then collected and measured in a beaker when he spat it out, to make sure none had been drunk.

A statement from Ahmedabad's Association of Physicians says that despite no water entering his body, urine nonetheless appeared to form in his bladder - only to be re-absorbed by the bladder walls.

At the end of his confinement, doctors noted no deterioration in his condition, other than a slight drop in his weight.

"I feel no need for food and water," says Mr Jani, who claims he was blessed by a goddess at the age of eight and has lived in caves ever since.

He grew up in Charod village in Mehsana district and wears the dress of a devotee of the goddess Ambaji - a red sari-like garment, nose ring, bangles and crimson flowers in the hair.

He also wears the vermilion "tika" mark on his forehead, more often seen on married Hindu women.

His followers call him "mataji" or goddess.

He says he has survived several decades without food or water because of a hole in his palate.

Drops of water filter through this hole, he says, sustaining him.

"He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this," said Bhiku Prajapati, one of Mr Jani's many followers.

"A hole in the palate is an abnormal phenomenon," says Dr Desai.

His colleague, Dr Urman Dhruv, told the BBC a full medical report is being prepared on Mr Jani's 10 days under observation.

Doctors say they cannot verify his claim to have not eaten or drunk for decades - but by observing his feat under laboratory conditions, they hope to learn more about the human body.

Mr Jani is likely to be called back to the hospital before doctors can work out how he does it. "

A bit like that dude who claimed to survive on sunlight.. except this is due to a hole in his palate. But where oh where does the water come from to drip through his palate??
 
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littleblackduck

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#27
Well, hand my hat and a salt shaker!

I don't believe that anybody can go without water, let alone food, for decades.

On the other hand, it would be interesting to know how the old fellow managed to go without urinating for more than a week. Is it a trick, an acquired skill, or a freak of nature or old age?

If he really can recycle water from his bladder at will, I want to know how! It is one of my sources of annoyance (let us say annoyance number 17,383,573,928) that it is possible to be thirsty and have a desperate need to urinate at the same time.

It is definitely a design flaw about which I would dash a firmly worded note off to the manufacturer if I had a mailing address.
 

Bannik

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#28
Re: Well, hand my hat and a salt shaker!

littleblackduck said:
If he really can recycle water from his bladder at will, I want to know how! It is one of my sources of annoyance (let us say annoyance number 17,383,573,928) that it is possible to be thirsty and have a desperate need to urinate at the same time.

It is definitely a design flaw about which I would dash a firmly worded note off to the manufacturer if I had a mailing address.
I often thought the same thing, lbd. Then again, if you were ever in a desert without water, you might be thankful you had some urine left in your bladder that you could piss into a jar and drink. Talk about recycling.
 

TheOriginalCujo

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#29
Apparently drinking your own urine will not re-hydrate you. I read that somewhere but I can't remember where.

Cujo
 

athyra

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#30
I have some doubts.

First, you couldn't recycle human urine.

Urination is a method of removing toxins from the body, in the form of urea. It takes a certain amount of water to remove a certain amount of urea, period. Drinking urine can be a valid survival tactic, but it has diminishing returns. If the body is well hydrated, urine will be white, odorless, and have a much lower ratio of urea to water then say yellow, smelly urine. Eventually, however, you'd reach a point of diminishing returns on reabsorbing urine, and this would happen quite quickly. Toxins would build up in your system, and you'd die.

Reabsorbing urine doesn't make sense. Either A.) He'd quickly die due to the amount of toxins building up in his system, or b.) his urinary system is totally different from anything known to science.

Sure, some animals excrete toxins differently. Birds excrete them in a manner which requires less water to cleanse the system. But they still do it.

I don't know. This makes no scientific sense whatsoever, on every level.

If this is true, which I sincerely doubt it is... I'd become a hindu myself. If, somehow, this were possible, it would be, to me, proof of a God, a hindu one at that. Because nothing short of divine intervention would make this phenomenon make scientific sense.

However, I have no more confidence in this story then of the similar "light eating" new age Californian hippies. I'd wager a bill on "hoax"... Anyone take me up on that?


**BONUS FACT!** If your urine is typically yellow, or has an odor, and you have no pre-existing medical condition... You should drink more water. Urine, in an optimally hydrated individually, should be odorless and colorless. Drink more, and you'll reap the benefits!
 
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