What is Cannibalism?

Cannibalism is viewed as a barbaric practice which is shunned in most if not all cultures in the world. However, there are documented cases of cannibalism in traditional tribes as well as modern people. The world “cannibal” is drawn from the Spanish “Canibales” which is the name used to refer to the Carib people. People who practice cannibalism or the act of eating human flesh or specific body parts are called cannibals. Not limited to humans, cannibalism also applies to other living things such as insects and mammals who eat their own kind—may it be sexual cannibalism or cannibalism due to lack of other prey to hunt.

Cannibalism in Different Cultures

Eating human flesh has been present as a cultural practice and has been present for hundreds if not thousands of years, especially in tribes such as those in Melanesia. In some societies, consumption of human flesh is a cultural norm or even a kind of ritual. Some even believe that the deceased, when eaten, can help with the grieving process of those left behind. For tribes, cannibalism may be a celebration of victory against rivals, or as a way of showing the dominant tribe in the said place.

In some cases, cannibalism occurs not because of cultural norms or for ritualistic purposes but rather the need for survival. It has been known to be one of the last resorts for people faced with famine, and since the human body is packed with nutrients—it is an excellent source of energy especially in times of great need or food scarcity.

Cannibalism in Modern Men

Some cannibals are actually mentally ill people who have their personal reasons for committing cannibalism. One of the most famous documented cases was of Albert Fish who was a known child murderer and cannibal. He even documented his own acts and sent a letter to one of his victim’s parents. His victim was named Grace Budd whose parents he was able to convince to allow him to accompany to a party.

Armin Meiwes

In more recent events, German Armin Meiwes used the internet forum Cannibal Café to get in touch with a willing subject which he later on consumed. He admitted to his crime and revealed the details of what transpired once the victim was with him. He is presently serving a life sentence in a German prison.

Whether it is a cultural norm or a kind of human perversion, there are still debates on cannibalism and whether or not it should be treated as a mental disorder.

 

Understanding the El Niño Phenomenon

Understanding the El Niño Phenomenon

There was a time when all you could see in the news was “El Niño this” and “El Niño that” but most of the time, people had no clue what it was. In fact, all they knew was that El Niño was scary and it would ruin their lives.

What is El Niño?

El Niño is characterized by markedly warmer water in the Pacific Ocean just off the Coast of South America. Now it shouldn’t be too worrisome since water temperature changes all the time but what El Niño does is it actually changes the weather patterns not just in the US but in other areas of the world as well.

Who Recognized El Niño?

It wasn’t some big-time, hot-shot research team that found out about El Niño first. Actually, it was recognized by fishermen just going about their job off the South American Coast. After all, who better to notice the chances in the ocean than people who spend their daily lives beside it? These days however, El Niño is tracked by climate experts with the use of satellite data and ocean buoys.

What is with the Name?

Now some of you might wonder what “El Niño” means and why that name was chosen. El Niño is the Spanish term for “Christ Child” or “The Little Boy” but before you start blaming the Spanish or little boys for the phenomenon, the name was actually given to the phenomenon since it had a propensity to show up around Christmas time. It is also good to note that El Niño actually has a cool sister that goes by the name of “La Niña” which is “The Little Girl” in Spanish.

What Happens when El Niño Starts?

When El Niño kicks in, trade winds become more relaxed in the western and central pacific. The surface water temperature by South American shores rises since there is less cold water up-swelling from below the water to cool the surface. This works to cut off the supply of nutrients in the water which affects the food chain drastically which then leads to fish shortages.

What are the Known Effects of El Niño?

1)  It brings about drought in the West Pacific area.

2)  It is associated with Australia Bushfires.

3)  It causes more rainfall across the Southern United States and Peru which leads to destructive floods.

Some people have asked why El Niño has not yet been stopped and the answer is simple: there is no way to stop or reverse it. It is a phenomenon that scientists are still trying to solve up to this day.