Considering a Career In Sword-Swallowing?

Rose Eveleth at Smithsonian Mag outlines some of the health risks (believe it) and membership requirements that come with joining The Sword Swallowers’ Association (rule #1: no collapsible swords).

110 certified sword swallowers from 16 countries later:

Through surveying these members, the researchers were able to document a few common side effects, like sore throats (which they adorably call “sword throats”) and pain in the chest and lungs. Six of the sword swallowers suffered tears of their pharynx of oesophagus and three of those swallowers had to have surgery on their necks. While nobody in the association has died, three of the survey takers reported medical bills totaling in the range of $23,000 to $70,000. But most sword swallowers don’t go to the doctor when they feel pain, according to the research.

The most dangerous times for a sword swallower tend to be when they’re distracted or swallowing a new or oddly shaped object. And while most sword swallowers didn’t suffer major injuries, the doctors still don’t recommend you pick up the hobby.

Main takeaway: it is strangely difficult to type ‘sword swallower’ correctly on the first try.

Photo: edenpictures

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