Photographed during a visit to The House On The Rock.
There is one report of intentional tapeworm ingestion occurring in modern times:
The woman went to her doctor and admitted she’d bought a tapeworm off the Internet and swallowed it, says Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health...More at the link. Sadly, I need to block comments on this post because it will be a magnet for spam.
Quinlisk says that the capsules sold in the past by snake oil hucksters, and online today, likely contain the microscopic head of a Taenia saginata.
“When people would order from snake oil medicine kinds of people a weight loss pill, it would be the head of a Taenia saginata … and it would develop into a 30-foot-long tapeworm in your body,” Quinlisk says. “The worm would get into your gut – it’s got little hooks on the head – and it would grab onto your intestine and start growing.”
And, technically, this parasitic infection, called taeniasis, does cause weight loss.
Also: CDC webpage on cysticercosis.