Maneaters: A history

A list of the beasts -- real and imagined -- that feast on human flesh
August 2, 2007 5:34:37 PM
So, you think a shark’s a maneater? Well, Discovery Channel may be on to something. Shark Week, the network’s series of television programs dedicated to demonizing the shark is in it’s 20th year. But to all of you who can’t keep from watching the waters froth with streaking, red human blood: Shark Week does not have the monopoly on maneating manivores! Dingos, Rakshasa, rugby players, and plants: below we have listed the best of them. Beware: sometimes the most ferocious maneater looks like an ordinary rabbit… and sometimes it looks just like you covered in a flesh-gobbling pus! Grrrr.

Grendel: Grendel, the first foe that Beowulf battles, frequents the local mead hall; the deformed monster’s idea of a feast includes man-meat and an after-dinner party of bowling with skulls. insidernewgrendel[1]
Australian crocs: Tic-toc, tic-toc, the Crocodylidae family is a prehistoric gang of cold-blooded, ambush hunters. The Saltwater and Nile crocodiles kill hundreds of people each year. No, not even Crocodile Dundee can save you from this maneater’s 3,000-pounds-per-square-inch bite!  insideercrocodile[1]
Dragon of the Apocalypse: The Book of Revelations describes this seven-headed beast as viciously patient, hunting a pregnant woman until her labor produces his meal. insidedragon-of-the-apocaly
Russian brown bears: Do not be fooled by the friendly Russian bear (see Grizzly Man). Even the bestest of bear friends will turn on you and maneat you. So long, Winnie the Pooh! Beware of killer bear hugs.  inside_grixxkle
Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors : When you name a plant after the love of your life, chances are it’s going to eat you.  linsideittleshopofhorrors2[
Vibrio vulnificus (flesh-eating bacteria): According to local Florida news channels, Vibrio vulnificus kills more people in the Gulf Coast than sharks do. Behold the flesh-eating bacteria! See man’s skin swell and turn violet and blister. For as gruesome as it is to be eaten alive, the mortality rate is high for those — covered in pus — being voraciously eaten from within.  insideVibrio-vulnificus
The rugby team in Alive : True story: a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team goes down in the Andes. They’re stranded there for months, and in order to survive, have to munch on the flesh of their teammates.  listsoccer-team-in-alive
Skylla & Charybdis: Two brutal foes that Odysseus and his shipmates face in Homer’s Odyssey. Sail too close to Skylla, you get devoured by one of her six heads. Sail to close to Charydis, she ingests the ship in toto in a giant whirlpool.  listSkylla-&-Charybdis1
Hanibal Lecter: Even in his leather mask, Hannibal Lecter is the vision of human teeth stained red with human blood. Lecter dines on the bowels and brains of men as he would on steak tartare. Thus — “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”  insidelecter34802a[1]
Hall and Oates’s maneater: She’s a “she-cat tamed by the purr of a jaguar . . . Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up.”  listmaneter
Piranhas: Amazon waters churn red with the piranhas’ vigorous, maneating kill shake. Though small, their large teeth are tightly packed and blade-like in profile. These fish devour their flesh in swarms, mutilating the body entire. list5187720_piranhas[1]
Giant in Jack & the Beanstalk: He’ll grind your bones to make his bread.  janckernewell_jackgiant[1]
Siberian tigers: A reputation for eating Kansas teens while they pose for class photos, the Siberian tiger is the largest and most menacing tiger subspecies. In Songs of Experience and The Jungle Book the tiger/tiger is an evil, fiery orange creature to be feared. In the real jungle, the Siberian tiger’s length measures meters long.  list_tigerfangs
Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood : Yeah, yeah, everyone knows LLRH is an allegory for sexual awakening (little girls, stay the path, lest you be tricked by a hungry wolf!) Those great, big teeth? All the better to eat you with.  listWolf-in-Little-Red-Ridi
Zombies: The typical zombie features bloody fangs, decaying flesh, and long and rotting hair. 28 Days Later or 28 Weeks Later, or Night of the Living Dead, no matter: zombies will one day eat the brains of us all, arms and mouths wide open.  inside28-days-later[1]
Dingos: Dingos pursue small game including rabbits, rodents, lizards, birds, and the occasional man cub. Yes, the dingoes are after your baby! Quick, bundle the little joy! For (though seemingly cute and cuddly) dingos thirst for ripe manhide.  listdingo
Cyclops: The one-eyed giant in Homer’s Odyssey dashes men on the floor of his cave, then eats them whole, “leaving nothing, entrails, or flesh, or marrow bones.”  listcyclops
Komodo Dragons:  Sure, they prefer donkey, goat, deer, and sometimes even little dragons. But Komodos chow down eighty percent of their body weight (that’s 120 pounds of French fries for the average human) and rip their victims into chunks.  listkomodo-dragons
Pigs in Snatch : Crime boss Brick Top adds a grotesque layer to the maxim that pigs will eat anything when he feeds his horrifying pets the slop of severed remains of murdered enemies.  insixekillerpig[1]
Ogres: Shrek dumbed down their reputation, but these centuries-old French flesh-eaters also served as inspiration to Tolkein’s bloodthirsty orcs.  listogre
Water Leaper: A creature from Welsh folklore resembling a large winged frog with the long spiked tail of a snake, the Water Leaper dined on fishermen.  listwater-leaper
Rakshasa: Hindu mythology tells of these supernatural shape-changing spirits that feed on either rotten food or fresh flesh.  listRakshasa
Killer rabbit: This may look like an ordinary rabbit, but, well, let’s let Tim the Enchanter describe it. “The most foul, cruel, bad-tempered rodent you’ve ever laid eyes on … [it’s] got a vicious streak a mile wide! … Look at the bones!” Arthur and the knights in Monty Python are unimpressed at first. They change their tune when it attacks and they’re forced to fetch the Holy Hand Grenade. insidersabbidrabby

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