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From Fish Eyes to Feces, Here Are 5 Times Bear Grylls Grossed Us out in ‘Man vs. Wild’

We’ve seen Bear Grylls do some pretty cool stuff in his TV shows—you know, jumping out of a helicopter, rappelling down cliffs, crossing treacherous rivers, and so on.

But there are times when he grossed us out too, and we are thinking specifically of some memorable situations that came up during Man vs. Wild, which ran for seven seasons from 2006 to 2011.

There were many stomach-churning moments that, admittedly, taught us some vital survival tips, so we’ve put together our—er—favorites.

Read on . . . if you have the stomach for it. 

The Time He Gave Himself an Enema

Getting dehydrated is not something you want to happen when you are in the hot sun on a remote Pacific island. Most times, we could drink water to rectify this, but in Man vs. Wild, Bear showed us what happens if you need to take extreme measures, such as giving yourself an enema while adrift on a raft.

The reason this works is that the rectum can absorb fluid—and Bear says that a family once had to do this to survive when adrift on a raft in the 70s when their yacht sank.

To demonstrate the technique, Bear lubricated a piece of hose and then inserted it into his rectum and poured water in. We recommend you try other ways to find water at sea before going this route, but it’s good to know about for a last resort.

When He Made a Wetsuit From a Rotting Carcass

While filming an episode of Man vs. Wild in Scotland, Bear decided to make an improvised wetsuit from a rotting seal carcass. Bear had to face a long, cold swim in the Atlantic and needed an extra layer of insulation.

He cut into the blubber from a dead seal, separated it from the carcass, and washed the blood-filled seal hide before putting it on and swimming.

While it sounds gross, animal skins have always been used as clothing, and Bear says that the Vikings used seals’ skin to keep warm ages ago.

When He Drank His Urine

On a search for water in the Sahara Desert and to avoid dehydration, Bear felt that it would be wasteful to lose fluids into the sand, so he decided to recycle his own pee as fluids to drink to help him survive.

He peed on his t-shirt and then squeezed the liquid pee into his mouth “to take the edge off the thirst.”

He also wiped the urine-soaked T-shirt on his face to help clean his skin before wearing the t-shirt to help cool him even further.

Afterwards, he said he was now “cooler, smellier but better off.”

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Bear Grylls and son during a live show, Image by Dave J. Hogan/Contributor

When He Squeezed Water from Elephant Feces

Another gross way Bear found fluids on a survival mission was in some fresh elephant dung.

He was able to squeeze water out of the feces and drink it. He said this was a life-or-death survival tip he was once shown by a ranger.

“It is pretty disgusting but it could save your life,” said Bear, who added that this is a last resort, as there could be harmful bacteria in the water. “If you have nothing else to drink it could buy you extra time.”

When He Ate the Fish Eyes

Another time, when he was trying to survive on an island in the Pacific, Bear found a triggerfish and decided that the eyes would be a good way to rehydrate.

“If you haven’t got a lot of drinking water, the eyeball has masses of fluid in it,” said Bear.

“It looks really horrible but it’s nutritious and has lots of fluids,” he said before he chewed down on the fish eyes, which he described as “a salty chewy marble.” Yum.

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