For some things, one would suppose, the need to do them once should be enough, whether for the sake of breaking world records or for one’s personal gratification.

Jumping off mountains, swimming with sharks, walking through fire, swallowing swords and other such endeavors are not things most people would expect to do more than once in a lifetime.

For others, once would prove to be one time too many.

Swallowing a nail once certainly falls into this category, and yet consider this tale of a hapless carpenter in China who swallowed the same six-inch nail three separate times!

Currently recovering in Wuhan University Hospital, Li Xiangyang, 48, of Huangshi, Hubei Province, was holding the nail between his teeth when he suddenly coughed and swallowed it.

An x-ray revealed the nail had lodged in his right lung, as illustrated by the above image.

Doctors reacted immediately to the enormity of the danger and fed a fiber-optic bronchoscope down Li’s throat to pull the nail out.

They almost had the nail out when Li coughed again and sucked it back down his throat.

For variety’s sake, this time the nail landed in his left lung. Undaunted, doctors tried again, and at the last minute, Li involuntarily swallowed again and the nail disappeared.

This third time doctors had trouble locating the nail. It was not in either lung and had made its perilous way into the man’s stomach, where it was finally extricated via a gastro-scope clamp.

Some nails just won’t take “no” for an answer. Go figure.

And while you are at it, if you think you can stand it, check out this video depicting a man who makes a living swallowing glass and nails.




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.