80-year-old Woman Eats Stones for 70 Years

May 9, 2006 Updated: July 5, 2015

There is a mystical old woman living in a small village in Guofu town, Qijiang county, Chong Qing city, China. The woman is nearly 80 years old. For the last 70 years, she has eaten small stones every day and appears to be healthier than other villagers her age.

According to the “Approaches to Science” TV program, Darong is a typical village in that area. However, because the strange old woman by the name of Luo Kairong lives there, this secluded village has become famous.

A villager said, “She is very healthy. We have never seen her unwell. She is competent at several things. She can carry things in the fields in winter and cut firewood in her bare feet.”

We understand that Luo has eaten small stones for more than 70 years and even once ate half a wall. From her appearance, she looks like any other elderly peasant. There is nothing overtly different.

Granny Luo said that she is particular about the stones she eats. She never eats “soft” stones; her favorites are the very hard green sandstones gathered from the mountains. To her, the harder stones are tastier. She eats stones just like ordinary people munch on peanuts.

Looking at the doubtful expressions in our eyes, she brings a red cloth bag from her house and stuffs her mouth with a handful of gravel.

Granny Luo eats these stones nonstop and chews with great gusto. Seeing is believing. It is hard to believe that an 80-year-old woman could consume so many small stones.

Granny Luo told us that her teeth have been worn down from eating the stones. She has had to replace her dentures three times.

Then, why can an elderly person swallow a stone that is seemingly tasteless and hard to swallow without being choked or falling sick? Experts say this could possibly be related to the fact that Granny Luo has eaten soil since childhood.

According to Granny Luo, she was born into a very poor family. She had many brothers and sisters in her family and her family’s financial situation was poor. She could not yet walk when she was two or three years old; therefore, she moved about by crawling. Because of the lack of food, Luo begun to eat soil. After she was married in Qijiang, she changed to eating stones because she did not like the taste of the soil there. Since then she has eaten stones daily for 50 years. During this period, Granny Luo tried to break the habit but she was not successful.

Granny Luo said that she cannot stop eating stones because she is accustomed to it. She will be uncomfortable if she doesn’t eat some every day.