Man Claims He Has Not Taken Food or Drink for 70 Years

Indian scientists are studying an 82-year-old man who claims he has not had any food or drink for 70 years. Prahlad Jani’s claims are being put to the test at a hospital in Ahmedabad, where he is being closely monitored and studied by India’s Defence Research Development Organisation, which believes he may have a quality which could help save lives.

He has so far spent six days without food or water under the strict observation of doctors who say his body is yet to show any signs of hunger or dehydration.

Mr. Jani is regarded as a “breatharian” who can live on “spiritual life-force” alone. He believes he is sustained by the “elixir” of a goddess.

“If his claims are verified, it will be a breakthrough in medical science,” said Dr. G. Ilavazhagan, director of the Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences.

“We will be able to help save human lives during natural disasters, high altitude, sea journeys and other natural and human extremes. We can educate people about the survival techniques in adverse conditions with little food and water, or nothing at all.”

However, others have dismissed Mr. Jani as a “village fraud.”

Leading Australian nutritionist, Dr. Joanna McMillan Price, said the study was a dangerous and pointless exercise.

“What’s the point? To show spiritual strength? You would struggle to go for more than a week without water and without food; your body starts to break down muscle, eventually attacking the heart muscles needed to provide energy to the brain until ultimately you have a heart attack and you die,” she said.

Dr. McMillan Price says Mr. Jani’s beliefs probably helped him overcome basic survival instincts but would not physically sustain him.



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Posted by on April 29, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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18 Responses to Man Claims He Has Not Taken Food or Drink for 70 Years

  1. Randal Graves Reply

    April 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

    What a yokel. Even if such a lifestyle was possible, dead cow parts and booze are too tasty to give up.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      April 29, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Eating and drinking are in the top 10 things to do in life, I probably rank them as high as 7.

    • jama Reply

      April 29, 2010 at 11:27 pm

      if you don’t understatnd something it doesn’t necessarily mean it is not true. while i can’t prove or disprove what this guy is claiming we will have to check him out, study and see if it is possible or not you can’t just dismiss it because you never seen it

  2. Infidel753 Reply

    April 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Are scientists and the defense department really spending time and resources on this? India’s taxpayers are not being well served.

    Scientists are actually not always the best people to evaluate a con man, because they’re used to dealing with natural phenomena which may be hard to understand but are never intentionally deceptive. If they really want to know what the score is, they should get someone like James Randi in to look at this guy.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      April 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Mysterious men play a big part Indian thinking, the fake Fakirs are all investigated. Sleeping on nails, walking on hot coals, levitating, the country is full of them.

  3. Mother Hen Reply

    April 29, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Michael Shermer or James Randi do need to go in and give a good bitch-slapping to the medical professionals that are promoting this farce. I doubt the old man could take it though.

    • Holte Ender Reply

      April 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      The old fellow wouldn’t feel it, if you don’t get hunger pains after 70 years, a slap up the chops won’t faze him.

  4. (O)CT(O)PUS Reply

    April 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    You fail to see the upside. If this old man can con a few medical researchers, think of the impact he can have on Tea Baggers!

    • Holte Ender Reply

      April 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      Very true Octo, but I think the Republicans have got dibs on conning the Tea Baggers.

  5. Krell Reply

    April 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Just when you thought the Breatharians were on their last gasp, another story. I think I also heard this on NPR “Fresh Air” last night also. Ha Ha….I am in a bad pun mood tonight.

    Let’s explore the scientific possibilities because that is the geeky way I am…..

    Since the greatest physical energy source he would have would be the sunlight, lets use that….Just for shits and grins…

    Nutritional sustenance obtained by photovoltaic process.

    Skin surface area of an average naked adult, (not including Rush Limbaugh) is about 2950 square inches. With clothes this can drop down to about 300 square inches. So with 100 percent energy conversion sunlight, depending on geographical position and elevation, sunlight can produce about 150 milliwatts per square inch.

    This equals about 15 watts of power for about 10 hours of the day. Since there is 24 hours per day, his total daily energy would be 7 watts of power. 1 watt is .238834 calories/second so he would get the equivalent of 10 calories per hour or 240 calories per day with the impossible 100 percent conversion rate.

    I used the Basal Metabolic Rate formula to calculate how many calories would be burned for a person that is 5 foot 2 inches high and weight of 100 pounds. Basal rate is rate of calories burned just by being alive with no movement except breathing and organ function.

    This is 1136 calories/day….hmmm not quite enough.

    Now if he was 13 inches high and weight was 40 pounds, he would just make it if he didn’t speak, move, or blink his eyes for the entire 70 years. With 100 percent conversion rate of sunlight.

    Hey, maybe it could happen…. and maybe I could shoot nuclear fusion comets out my ass.

    • osori Reply

      April 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Krell, I recall reading in the LA Times 20+ years ago about a local guy, guru type of spiritual leader who was also a breatharian. He’d been interviewed by several sources and seemed very devout but his secretary busted him a couple times scarfing down Kentucky Fried Chicken. Eating it, not snorting.

      • Krell Reply

        April 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

        LOL…well if your going to destroy your spiritual beliefs, don’t do it with puny salad!

    • Holte Ender Reply

      April 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      These Indian mystics should not be underestimated, but neither should scientists who say poppycock, which is probably what you are saying, unless you are serious shooting nuclear fusion out your ass.

  6. Cristian Reply

    April 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    First of all I apologise for judging you fellow commentators without having the pleasure to meet you first. However, it seems to me that everybody is upset on the old man because of what he claims and some of you even make fun of him without knowing the man.

    The only thing that we are sure of – and that comes through-out the history is that even if science answers some questions, some of them are not answered (without speaking on the fact that the same scientific people during a certain age claimed something as a proof and after a period of time other scientific people demonstrated exactly the opposite) – aren’t you embracing science without forgeting to question it – isn’t science becoming a type of religion in fact and aren’t we as a people doing anything in the name of science without considering the long term impact? Who is/are in our days judging purely from an ethical or moral perspective what the Scientists are doing or are not doing?

    I do not know whether the old man tells the truth or not but I surely can accept him as a human being in the same way I would accept a scientist – or we are no longer able to do so?

    And of course a world in which we would have to kill one another for food, or raise as fast as possible animals in order kill them so that we may eat them, fishes, etc. as well destroying every type of natural resources that are available on earth is the perfect world as we know it, or is it not? Can you imagine living on earth without water – well, maybe this old man at least can imagine doing so and at least from that perspective it has something that neither of us the rest of the people have.

    So in the end we still chose to live in our selfish, egocentric ways destroying everything surrounding us for our own pleasures – isn’t that the perfect way of leaving? In this way it will only hit us when it is already too late – probably when we would really realise that what we are doing really impacts everybody and everything surrounding us – but practically speaking we would realise that only when our children will be the ones impacted and then do what? Get into a crisis? Be sorry? Learn to not eat anything nor drink water? Maybe better get provisions of a life-time really fast? Or make fun or older people?

    Finally an advice for me: before saying anything look into the mirror!

  7. Krell Reply

    April 30, 2010 at 10:06 am


    I was not making fun of the man in my comment, only his ridiculous claim. When that man makes such a outrageous statement in public, it opens it up for debate in the public
    eye. It has nothing to do with me accepting him as a human being at all.

    I agree with you that science is a continuously evolving process of theories and counter theories, requiring independent repeatability of results. That is called the Scientific Method. But there are also things in science called laws and physical constants which are proven mathematically and physically. Examples are the Law of Thermodynamics or Ohms Law. A constant example could be PI which is 3.14159….

    In his case, it is purely a case of conservation of energy. This comes down to the fact that you cannot create energy out of thin air. I would have responded just as critically if somebody would claim that PI is equal to 7.

    I do have tremendous respect for Sikhism, especially the philosophy of deliverance from the illusive satisfactions caused by pursuit of worldly goods. But that is not what the man is displaying for the world to see.

    Your comment, when it turned into a debate on mankind and its willful destruction and neglect on the Earth resources, though a very noble idea that I embrace whole heartily, really isn’t relevant to this post.

    You ask some very good questions in your comments. Things I would like mankind to respond to myself. But I disagree with using a fraud to open that door of discussion.

  8. The Foolish Child Reply

    May 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Hm.. maybe he filter feeds, drinks water vapor? vapor is a joke, but filter feed could be!?!!! anybody got any calculations for this theory thingy-a-bob?

  9. Bill Formby Reply

    November 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Whats the point? He can’t be enjoying this as much as I just enjoyed the pulled pork barbeque sandwich and beer I just finished. I am the same age as him and I played eighteen holes of golf yesterday but I doubt, from his looks, he could do the same. I may die first but I am going to die happy, hopefully escaping out the bedroom window of a good looking 25 year blonde by her jealous boyfriend while putting my pants on.

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