10 True Stories of Survival Cannibalism

It’s an hour until lunchtime, but you’re so hungry you’re gnawing the inside of your cheek and nibbling your nails. What if lunchtime didn’t come – for days on end? Fuse/Thinkstock

We all know how hard it is to resist the lure of a birthday cake, leftover from some party, just sitting on the counter and waiting to be eaten. It's torture to have to turn away from it. And one little bite wouldn't hurt right?

Now imagine that you're stranded on a boat at sea, no substantial food or water for days, living off collected rain and already having lustily consumed the leather brim of your own hat. You realize, at a certain point, that there's a huge chunk of protein-packed meat right next to you. Suddenly you can't shake the idea that your fellow starving passengers -- hey, some might be dead already -- might not make the most appetizing meal but would absolutely be the key to your survival. And you thought ignoring the cake was hard.

In the next few pages, we'll explore some stories that showcase people breaking the ultimate taboo -- humans eating other humans. They're not doing it for kicks or for some sort of cultural practice. Instead, they're doing it to survive. So make sure you have plenty of supplies, as we start with a pretty famous case of survival cannibalism.