This Movie Food Challenge Has Killed Multiple People

Unlike Tom Cruise, not all of us have the acting skill, confidence, or – if you are particularly cynical – recklessness to perform dangerous theatrical stunts ourselves (via Insider). That's why, under normal circumstances, daredevil maneuvers like flying fighter planes would be left in the relatively safe hands of skilled stunt performers.

Of course, this isn't an option on the tough streets of reality, where aspiring risk-takers sometimes endanger themselves just for a chance of bagging applause. Even though it's unlikely that anyone could realistically master the triumphs of a dangerous lightsaber fight or a sweaty jungle battle with a human-killing alien, some movie tricks appear to be very simple.

A scene in the 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke" shows lead actor Paul Newman's title character Luke attempt the arduous task of munching through dozens of hard-boiled eggs (via YouTube). Although it is definitely a grueling and disgusting task, it's also one that resulted in real-life deaths.

A man died after chomping through too many eggs

"Cool Hand Luke" features Newman playing mouthy prisoner Luke, who has a reputation for standing up against authority and escaping from his entrapment. Luke receives great attention from his fellow chain gang workers who admire his refusal to follow the rules. In one iconic scene, Luke is challenged to eat 50 hard-boiled eggs, which he succeeds at, bagging all of the money in the prison (via Roger Ebert).

As heroic as such an endeavor is on the silver screen, performing such a feat in the real world is far from simple. In fact, it's even been known to be deadly. According to Vice, in 2019, "Cool Hand Luke"'s egg-eating challenge cost the life of Subhash Yadav in India after he ate 41 eggs for a 2,000-rupee (approximately $28) bet. Newsweek reports that doctors concluded Yadav's death was caused by overeating, triggered by the overwhelming volume of eggs he had eaten in a short space of time. 

In 2012, Dhaou Fatnassi of Tunisia died in what could be viewed as a variant of the challenge. Fatnassi swallowed 28 raw eggs in exchange for money, a feat that HuffPost likened to "Cool Hand Luke." The following year, U.K. resident Sharon Dixon fatally choked on a hard-boiled Easter egg during a competition.

Other untimely deaths from overeating have been noted, including a man who ate too much cheese (via UniLad) and another who overindulged on licorice (via BBC News).