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Scientists ponder a wide variety of probing questions in pursuit of knowledge. One of those questions — can a knife made of frozen **** cut flesh? — has just been answered.
An anthropologist reported in the 1990s that there was "a well-known account" of a stranded Inuit man crafting a knife from his own, frozen excrement that was sharp enough to kill and butcher a dog. The tale quickly spread through academic circles, its fame growing over the decades. But no evidence suggested that the incident ever took place or that such a blade would even be possible to shape or use.
Team - Researchers - Laboratory - Reverse-engineers - Tools
That is, until now. A team of researchers in a laboratory that reverse-engineers ancient tools was intrigued by the story and decided to put it to the test. In the name of science, the lab's co-directors generated the experiments' raw materials and then crafted their own frozen poop knives, describing the process — and the disappointing outcome — in a new study.
In 1998, anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis published the book "Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire." It included the remarkable account of an elderly Inuit man left alone during a freezing storm with no tools; he allegedly survived the ordeal by carving a knife from his frozen ****, "sharpened with a spray of saliva," Davis wrote.
Man - Dog - Knife - Beast - Darkness
Then, the man killed a dog with the knife, butchered the beast and "disappeared into the darkness" riding a sled that he made from the animal's rib cage.
Davis later said that he suspected the Inuit man who told him the story may have been toying with him. True or not, the story has since grown to become "one of the most popular ethnographic accounts of all time," according to the study.
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Real knife, or fake news?
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Sorry Mr. Franklin, we couldn't keep it.