When I found a 1999 copy of the Guinness Book of Records, I had a look to see if its abandonment of fasting records had already occurred. What I found was they had not, and that it said the longest anyone had gone without food and water was eighteen days. This was by a man named Andreas Mihavecz who was put in a holding cell in Höchst, Vorarlberg and forgotten. He had been a passenger in a crashed car on April 1 and was found on April 18. Some say he survived by drinking water from the prison wall!
My response to finding this later record was to message my brother on my mobile. He was so quick to respond I will describe the dialogue in full:
- Me: The last edition of the Guinness Book of Records to have fasting records (1999) said that the longest anybody had gone without food and water was 18 days (by Andreas Mihavecz who was put in a holding cell by police in Höchst and totally forgotten). Do you think the real record is closer to this than those claimed of Thèrése Neumann, Marthe Robin or Nicholas of Flüe?
- My brother: Vastly closer.
- Me: How much longer would daily Holy Communion add to the time a person could survive without any other food or water?
- My brother: The wafers have almost 0 calories (based on a google search) so it would change very little.