Abnormal, Bizarre and Crazy Eating Disorders: The Many Forms of Pica

Here’s a list of the most unusual and most absurd eating disorders.

You might have heard of people eating dust or maybe you have already heard of people eating stones. Consumption of sand or dust has been reported among iron-deficient patients and consumption of soft stones has been reported by pregnant women in Kenya.

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Do you or do you know someone who crave for ash, chalk, clay, coal, coin, feces, gum, metal, mucus, paper and many others? Or do you have an abnormal appetite for food ingredients such as flour, raw potato, raw rice, ice cubes, salt starch and others?

If your answer is yes, then you or the person you know has a medical disorder called – PICA. This disorder is characterized by an abnormal appetite for substances largely non-nutritive. This peculiar condition’s name comes from the Latin word for “MAGPIE”, a bird which is reputed to eat almost anything.

Pica is particularly seen in small children, pregnant women and individuals with developmental disabilities although it is seen in all ages.

Pica in children is common and can be dangerous and fatal. Consumption of painted plaster that contains lead can cause brain damage. Dirt eating can cause poisoning or tearing in the stomach. Ingestion of feces is very risky too due to the presence of parasites. Pica is also seen in animals and is most commonly seen in dogs.

Forms of Pica

1.) Self-cannibalism

Self-cannibalism is one of the weirdest and absurd medical conditions where body parts are consumed. The practice of eating oneself is also known as autocannibalism or autosarcophagy. Patients suffering from this crazy condition usually inflict pain upon themselves by biting and/or devouring portions of their body. Causes of autocannibalism include severe sexual anxiety, schizophrenia or psychosis. People who engage in self-cannibalism as an extreme form of body modification would consume their own skin.

2.) Amylophagia

If you abnormally crave for starch then you have a condition called Amylophagia. This pathological condition involves compulsive consumption of excessive amounts of purified starch. This form of Pica is often observed in pregnant women. People suffering from this condition feel a compulsion to consume refined starch such as cornstarch.

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  1. Wow! I have never heard of any of these disorders. They must be very difficult to live with. A very well written post.


  2. thanks for sharing

  3. this is new to me… really interesting…

  4. Awesome article! These kind of disorders do indeed exist and research, however has shown that there are many under lying causes that may contribue to them.

  5. Wow some of these a truly gross Nobert. Amazing what happens to people to cause such conditions. Excellent write Nobert and a very interesting read.

  6. I’ve never hears of these and I admit some seem disgusting.

  7. Woah… self-cannibalism is quite scary!

  8. Good Lord, eating oneself, glass, feces…..I think this is more than bizarre! In the case of mucus, I have seen kids do this by picking their noses and eating them up-I guess pure hunger makes them do this-but feces, the closest I have come to seeing some one act this bizarre was when a pregnant neighbor would prefer to go and live near a very smelly public pit latrine-it is here that she would have her breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday whenever she was pregnant! But direct consumption of fecal matter is complete news to me!

  9. Aw huhuhu anyway great article.

  10. another interesting piece… good job as always!

  11. Truly weird! Excellent info.

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