A 15-year-old China teen had over 200 nails removed from his stomach after reportedly eating them over the course of a month.
The Ji’an, China, teen had been complaining of stomach pains on June 6 but his parents initially dismissed it as a cold, the Daily Mail reports. They brought him to a doctor, however, and a routine CT scan revealed hundreds of nails in his stomach.
The teen underwent surgery to have the nails removed, and it was during the procedure that surgeons also found toothpicks, rocks and coins.
The contents weighed an astonishing 1.5 pounds. Staff at the hospital said it was the first time they’d seen anything like it.
The boy later admitted to eating the nails over the course of a month. His parents told local reporters that they were unsure as to why he’d been eating sharp objects, Daily Mail reported. One potential cause for the strange behavior was believed to be a condition called Pica, which is when a person compulsively eats foreign objects.
Someone with the eating disorder Pica will reportedly eat items with little to no nutritional value, such as paint, dirt or sand. The disorder is more common in pregnant woman or people with learning disabilities. It can be dangerous for those affected, as they may ingest items with toxic ingredients. It may also lead to tooth damage or parasites.
In a similar incident in 2015, an Indian man had 140 coins, 150 nails and a handful of nuts, bolts and batteries removed from his stomach, the Huffington Post reported.
“I used to gulp down coins and metals with fruit juice or milk," the man, Rajpal Singh, told Caters News Agency at the time. "Due to family problems I had slipped into depression and got hooked onto this weird habit.
“ ... Doctors have told me those sharp needles would have punctured my intestine and I would have eventually died. I feel much more relaxed now. I am never going to do this again.”