Body Hack Shocks Viewers With Brutal Sloth Beating
Frog poison and sloth meat, it was all happening.
The first episode of Todd Sampson's Bodyhack 2.0 saw the intrepid host interviewing a man while he chowed down on the decomposing remains of a human body.
Thursday's episode aimed to top even that as Todd travelled to a remote village deep in the Amazon where he partook in a few unusual rituals including a hunting trip and a trip of an entirely different kind.
Only discovered about 50 years ago, Todd is welcomed into a Matsés tribe of about 12 families who have yet to lose a lot of their traditions, including their hunting methods.
One animal easy for the Matsés to hunt is the sloth, with one of the women in the tribe saying "finding sloths brings happiness because it's food to share with the family".
While difficult to spot hanging in the trees, once they find one the slow-moving animal has very little chance of escape, something Todd -- and the audience at home -- found out can be pretty brutal.
"I know that's hard to look at," Todd said holding the body of the recently hunted sloth, "and my daughters are going to kill me for this, but this is what they eat".
"This is just a normal part of their life. But for me it's a beautiful animal that's just been killed... some would say... brutally."
The Matsés said they eat sloth about every three days. Every part of the animal is used, except the gallbladder which is stuck to a tree. It's believed that throwing the gallbladder away would attract bad luck, so it's stuck to a nearby tree which is said to attract more sloths as a sign of good luck.
After preparing the meat overnight, Todd sampled some sloth for a hearty breakfast.
Slurping down on some sloth wasn't the only ritual Todd partook in during the episode, essentially being voluntarily poisoned by a frog.
Part of what attracted him to the village in the first place was the Matsés use of acaté, a poison that's extracted from a particular green tree frog. The frog secretes a fluid which is used -- as the Matsés describe it -- to enhance their senses.
Keen to see the effects, Todd gave it a red hot go, and red hot it was. Holes are burned into the skin to better deliver the poison which is rubbed into the burns. Just before it's given to him, one of the village's kids warned Todd, "If you're white... don't do it".
"I can just feel the hot flushes, my ears are burning," he said as he had an almost immediate reaction to the acaté. Despite a brief scare when his heart rate skyrocketed then abruptly fell, Todd later described just feeling a sense of calm.
Then, in a night hunt later with the villagers, he believed both his eyesight and hearing had improved, allowing him to spot another sloth in the dark.
"Unfortunately I spotted the sloth... and now... he's going to be breakfast."