Seattle Woman Trying To Live On Sunlight Alone Is Probably Going to Die

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Navenna Shine of Seattle is planning to livestream her own death.


Well, technically she's planning to livestream an experiment in which she attempts to survive for up to six months on nothing but the natural light of the sun, but it's essentially the same thing.

Shine, founder of Living on Light, is a follower of the Jasmuheen branch of Breatharianism.

Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve) is a thoroughly debunked fraud, and her pseudoscientific claims are directly responsible for the deaths of several people.

Why does Shine believe her "experiment" will end differently? Because she really believes.

The only problem with this is that we do not believe it. We hear about it but, how can we possibly believe somebody who says that they don’t eat? Even family and friends don’t believe them sometimes. The solution is very simple. We have to put it to the test. This is what I intend to do through “Living On Light”. Put it to the test.

Written By: Neetzan Zimmerman
continue to source article at gawker.com

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    • She is old. I worry more about early onset dementia than anything else.
      Shame on the people who take advantage of old folks!

      In reply to #1 by yanquetino:*

      Someone please tell me that this woman never had children. She richly deserves a Darwin Award. Believing brains that are this batshit crazy really need to be thinned from the herd.

      • You might be right about the dementia, although the statement she has (supposedly) written on her web page doesn’t seem to show such symptoms. My mother had dementia for several years before she died, and was certainly not that coherent and articulate. Of course… maybe someone wrote it for her…? Perhaps one of those “people who take advantage of old folks”…? And that possibility also piques my curiosity: who are such people, and what is the advantage…? Maybe she has prepared a will, leaving her estate to a proponent of “Breatharianism”…?

        In reply to #4 by BigDyTerminator:

        She is old. I worry more about early onset dementia than anything else.
        Shame on the people who take advantage of old folks!

  1. Could somebody inform the dear that we all technically live off of sunshine? Granted, it’s only edible after going through photosynthesis, but it’s still energy from the sun’s light.

  2. Somebody who loves this woman needs to save her life. She is clearly not competent. If the state steps in, she becomes a martyr. If strangers try to talk sense to her; they are outsiders who “just don’t understand”…. A close family member or friend needs to intercede here.

    On a lighter note I can’t resist making a poor joke at her expense: as a great publicity stunt, she ought to have herself gradually tattooed green and claim that she has evolved to be a photosynthetic autotroph.

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      Somebody who loves this woman needs to save her life. She is clearly not competent. If the state steps in, she becomes a martyr. If strangers try to talk sense to her; they are outsiders who “just don’t understand”…. A close family member or friend needs to intercede here.

      On a lighter note I…

      Don’t understand the bio-babble, but I get the idea. Sometimes people and their ideas are just so awfully stupid, that the only possible reaction, preferably insane, is to take the p*##.

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      Somebody who loves this woman needs to save her life. She is clearly not competent. If the state steps in, she becomes a martyr. If strangers try to talk sense to her; they are outsiders who “just don’t understand”…. A close family member or friend needs to intercede here.

      On a lighter note I…

      P680 and P700 chlorophyll twin units, reaction center and the ability to preform photolysis also? Perhaps she could manage electron cycling with an implanted photosystem I.

      On a serious note why is this women not already committed?

      • When she fails, she will blame photorespiration! That damned promiscuous rubisco keeps loading oxygen instead of carbon dioxide! If only she could keep her stomata open all night and somehow store the carbon in something like a bundle sheath cell…. HAHAHAHA NERD JOKES!

        In reply to #17 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        Somebody who loves this woman needs to save her life. She is clearly not competent. If the state steps in, she becomes a martyr. If strangers try to talk sense to her; they are outsiders who “just don’t understand”…. A close family member or friend needs to int…

      • In reply to #17 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        Somebody who loves this woman needs to save her life. She is clearly not competent. If the state steps in, she becomes a martyr. If strangers try to talk sense to her; they are outsiders who “just don’t understand”…. A close family member or friend needs to int…

        umm…..this is America- no need to commit anyone. That would imply sympathy (and basic healthcare1).

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      On a lighter note …

      Tee hee :-)

      In reply to #19 by —
      :email: !binary |-
      ZG91Z2VzdGVsbGUxQHlhaG9vLmNvbQ==
      :username: !binary |-
      ZG91Zy5lc3RlbGxl:

      ‘Breatharianism’ C’mon! You’re making that one up right?

      Oh no… A breatharian website, and what Rational Wiki has to say about it.

      In reply to #21 by —
      :email: !binary |-
      ZG91Z2VzdGVsbGUxQHlhaG9vLmNvbQ==
      :username: !binary |-
      ZG91Zy5lc3RlbGxl:

      Evolution at work right before your very eyes. She’s about to die.

      Technically, her death doesn’t contribute anything to evolution, as she is too old to contribute to the gene pool even if she was sane enough to stay alive.

  3. Are they supposed to do some magical hand waving in order to live on sunlight? Otherwise, how do they explain all the starvation related deaths in sunshine filled African countries? Or were those people just not in the right mindset?

    How much do you want to bet her failure will be blamed on living in Seattle, where there isn’t enough sunlight available?

    • Hey! I live in Seattle! We don’t need nuts like her representing us.
      Anyway, I think she has been living without air for way too long….

      In reply to #6 by Kim Probable:

      Are they supposed to do some magical hand waving in order to live on sunlight? Otherwise, how do they explain all the starvation related deaths in sunshine filled African countries? Or were those people just not in the right mindset?

      How much do you want to bet her failure will be blamed on living…

  4. Being a sceptic I would like to know what test protocols are being used here. I know that the Randi Foundation have refused to have anything to do with a stunt like this because of the dangers involved.

    When it says “”In the meantime,” she says, “each moment is being recorded and the files are being archived for future verification.”
    Who is recording this? Can they be verified as being truly independent and with her every second of the day.
    The potential for fraud is obvious here. Everybody is predicting death but nobody seems to be considering fraud which is odd considering its long history in claims such as this.

    It reminds me of the Indian Swami who claims to not have eaten for years.

  5. I have rows of tomatoes, lettuces, leeks, onions, beetroot, parsnips, peas, beans and swedes, which are all living on sunlight!

    I suppose its and activity for the mentally vegetative!

  6. This can go two ways:

    1) No one stops her and she dies. Outcome: she learns nothing.

    2) Someone stops her or she willingly stops using some excuse. Oucome: she still learns nothing. If she is taken in by the social services and force fed, she will say that the experiment would have worked if it wasn’t for the intervention of those pesky non-believing, materialistic people brainwashed by Western medicine. If she stops on her own, she will say that it’s her fault. She didn’t believe enough. But living on sunlight alone really does work, it didn’t just work this time. The cosmos works in mysterious ways.

    That’s how belief works. Without evidence, or with evidence to the contrary, you still believe. There is nothing that will change her mind, not even failure. There is no way she will stop after a month and reject her faith saying: “That’s it. I was obviously wrong in my belief, science is right, people cannot live on sunlight.”

  7. Wait ! Wait ! Someone already ended a comment on the Rabbi Sacks article, with a profound word ! Photosynthesis. We need to get that person together with this woman. Maybe it is contagious.

    • I think I’ll keep my distance, thanks!

      In reply to #14 by rod-the-farmer:

      Wait ! Wait ! Someone already ended a comment on the Rabbi Sacks article, with a profound word ! Photosynthesis. We need to get that person together with this woman. Maybe it is contagious.

  8. At the risk of sounding frivolous – given our current weather and the complete failure of Global Warming so far to turn Britain into the new Portugal, this lady will be lucky if she ever sees any sunlight.

  9. What if she succeeds?

    The interesting thing about pseudo-science is that there are often affects involved that actually do have an impact. Though usually psychological and nothing to do with the crack pot theories. There’s published research that shows that a high proportion of published research in public health, nutrition, and exercise is just plain wrong, and easily identified as such (i.e. obviously unscientific as opposed to pseudoscience). But then that this research into the quality of research is itself among the published research into public health, so its conclusions may also be wrong. But as with any serious scientific experiment, ignoring lack of controls and statistical distortions via sample of 1, there may be significant confounding factors that confuse the results for this woman’s starvation experiment.

    1 is that humans have survived, and even thrived, despite not eating for a very long time. Their mount of body fat is the limiting factor. A severely obese person who ate nothing but occasional vitamins for nearly 12 months (I think – you can look it up if interested) did this under close clinical supervision and only resumed eating once normal body fat ratios were achieved. This person continued to pass stools, though not very often. (As a result of accumulating waste products from the cannibalisation and breakdown of organ tissue as the entire body downsized.) This proves that it’s the shitting that keeps people alive – if you don’t eat you don’t shit. And if you don’t shit you die.

    Other confounding factor is that, assuming sufficient accumulated body fat and associated organ enlargement, the massive shift to internal consumption of body fat and organ protein and the shift entirely away from previous major dietary energy sources (carbohydrates, dietary protein broken down into carbohydrate and carbohydrate-like alcohol) is likely to have a significant impact (via diminished glycation) on a range of previously impaired physiological processes. Ironically things like an increase in sleep quality, youthful vigour, and the reversal of developing alzheimers may be consequences.

    Possibly she’ll start to feel great, the experience may even mitigate her mental illness, and she’ll just start eating again when she gets hungry. It’s unlikely that she’ll end up with anorexia as that’s more a consequence of addiction to repeated events. Just plain starving oneself like this woman is more of a one time event.

  10. I feel really bad for this woman, clearly she is has some sort of mental illness or cognitive disability. Her before photo on the left, still looks as if something is not mentally healthy. I cannot poke fun at someone who is not in their right mind to make decisions. If I ever become like this, I hope someone would step in.

  11. Like the article says…

    • This woman “is a thoroughly debunked fraud”.

    Therefore, I have zero confidence in anything she claims. Including the claim that she lives only on sunlight. Who’s in charge of controlling this “experiment”? Who’s to say she doesn’t sneak out for a quick snack while pretending to go to the loo?

    • Her pseudoscientific claims are “directly responsible for the deaths of several people”.

    And therefore, I have exactly zero sympathy for her. If she really intends to kill herself that way, then I say: let her have a taste of her own medecine. But again, I am unable to believe in her sincerity. Liars and cheats always find a way to survive because their specialty is making s**t up.

  12. Is she going to drink water? Because if she’s really taking in nothing by mouth, she’ll die in less than a week. A person in otherwise good health can live for more than a month without food, but no one can live totally without water for more than a few days; a week at most. And she doesn’t look like the picture of health to begin with.

    • SueBlue,
      Evidently she is going to have an assistant stop by once a day and sprinkle water on her feet which are rooted in an orange ceramic
      pot full of soil.

      In reply to #37 by Sue Blue:

      Is she going to drink water? Because if she’s really taking in nothing by mouth, she’ll die in less than a week. A person in otherwise good health can live for more than a month without food, but no one can live totally without water for more than a few days; a week at most. And she doesn’t look…

  13. There was a young black man selling breatharian lessons here in Vancouver circa 1982. He advocated gradually moving to yellow foods. My friend caught him in the 9/11 late one night pigging out on junk food. This is a simple scam.

    This simple women is killing herself. Why? She refuses to admit she was conned. She is too ashamed of being wrong.

    Science could have helped her in two ways.
    1. be more skeptical about whether this was possible. If it were, surely rabbits or some other sun-loving species could too.
    2. pick up and carry on when you discover you are wrong without massive embarrassment.

    • Here’s 1 of many examples:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2495396/pdf/postmedj00315-0056.pdf

      Before deciding to cease eating for a year or so you need to be reasonably confident that you have around 1 year supply of internal body fat and other surplus tissues available to decompose for essential nutrients and to metabolise for energy. (About 100kg worth according to the above example. So you’d probably need to be about 50 kg above normal body weight to go for 6 months.) People who cease eating for this long are not actually starving. Typically they do not experience hunger once they’ve adapted to the situation. It’s just that their source of metabolic energy switches from external to internal.

      There is nothing magic going on. it is literally a mass/energy conversion. But the person at the end of this process will not be physically the same as at the beginning.

      You can try this at home if you like. You first need to adapt over serveral weeks to a high fat content diet (i.e. stimulate gene expression for extra volumes of enzymes for the kinds of fats that your internal body fat mostly consists) and then make the transition from an external to your internal fat source. There’s a few precautions required, like you definitely need an adequate internal fat source, plus you need to experience occasional high stress resistance training for the major muscle groups. Otherwise your body may regard your otherwise little used muscle mass as a convenient food reserve. It probably wouldn’t hurt to be mentally active also – no point in diminishing your brain capacity just because your body knows that you never use it.

      It’s a myth that humans cannot survive for very long without eating. Humans can’t survive for long without a source of metabolic energy – but that’s not the same thing. We usually only hear about starvation in the context of emergencies in wars, plagues, natural disasters, or extremely cold, stressful situations, with injured people. As in the famous case of the survivors of the air crash in the Andes who were compelled to cannibalise their dead companions’ bodies. Very much not the normal state for most people.

      The myth may have developed because we have become accustomed to dietary influences that drive hormonal cravings to eat frequently. So we just assume that we’d die without it – because being hungry just feels so horrible. This isn’t any different to various other pseudo medical myths like neurons not regenerating, need for balanced diets, stretching and warm-ups before exercise etc. It’s confusing because relevant scientists may believe and perpetuate this kind of stuff too, but that’s probably because they merely assume, like most non-scientists, that a responsible adult has previously looked into it. Unfortunately the world is suffering from an acute shortage of responsible adults.

      In reply to #41 by old-toy-boy:

      At least she is willing to test her theory, credit to her for that. ( she may still be a little nuts,) can a human being survive fasting for 6 months? anyone know?

        • Yes, there’s probably lots of extra stuff she’d need. Obviously including water, sodium, various other vitamins, exercise and sunlight (not for the photosynthesis! it’s important for hormonal synchronisation and sleep quality – in turn this affects other hormones etc.)

          But people don’t always need as much water as some would have us believe. It depends on all kinds of things, including humidity, temperature, exercise, and what they’ve been eating recently. I do lots of walking and hiking and I’m always coming across people with water bottles and camel pack packs with mouth tubes. Ridiculous. This is in Australia where drought and dying of thirst in the desert does occasionally occur, but the bush tracks around Sydney are not exactly the outback. Reason is that they all carry around litres of water is that there’s a persistent myth that everyone needs to drink some specific minimum amount of water every day, and even more when exercising. I suspect that’s the reason why half the women I know are continually rushing off to the toilet. Pretty much every woman I’ve ever met thinks they’re overweight, and they all read the women’s magazines where drinking lots of water is considered to be some kind of weight loss technique.

          I get the same thing whenever I donate blood. The blood service people (always female) want to know how much I’ve eaten and drunk. If I tell them I’ve just had 10 cups of coffee they seem surprised that I’m not collapsing with dehydration from the diuretic effects.

          It’s possible that a trickle of water, from swilling out the mouth, washing, damp cloths, sips of herbal tea etc. could be not taken into account to the extent that some idiots might be able to convince themselves that they have not taken anything to drink. But there can be a significant water content in many kinds of foods. Plus stored glycogen in the muscles releases huge amounts of water as it is consumed. It’s possible that someone who just doesn’t drink anything might not immediately become dehydrated. There’s so many other factors. If the body is not sweating much, not breathing very hard, and not excreting much urea (less need to dilute urine) etc. then some of the need for drinking water can evaporate.

          So I think it’s quite possible that a women like this could end up in 6 months time seriously believing that she has survived without eating anything. And possibly without drinking – except perhaps for occasional sips of herbal tea to moisten the lips. Which would be likely to reinforce her superstitions and further inspire her followers. But from a scientific perspective her experiment might only be useful to help establish that she’s probably female.

          The other thing to keep in mind is that very many experiments in areas of health and nutrition, especially to do with weight loss among the overweight, are poorly structured and administered. Lying, especially by research subjects but also by researchers, has been quite common. The extent of lying and self deception in pseudo-scientific experiments is unlikely to be less than what normally prevails in real science.

          In reply to #46 by crookedshoes:

          but, peteh, you agree that without water this is truly a losing proposition?

          In reply to #44 by Pete H:

          Here’s 1 of many examples:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2495396/pdf/postmedj00315-0056.pdf

          Before deciding to cease eating for a year or so you need to be reasonably confident t…

  14. peteh,
    I can always rely on you to be honest and thorough. You are an excellent resource for me. I (due to my exposure) would declare a person nuts if they planned on going two weeks without water. I know you are more experienced and informed than I and thus I respect your post. Damn, now, I am wondering if she pulls it off (judging from the picture in the OP it won’t happen) will we see a growth of this silliness?

  15. Poorly worded title.

    “she is still drinking water, occasionally some tea, but she says that is to flush out a lifetime of toxins.”

    Ms. Shine is a follower of Ms. Greve (Jasmuheen), purported fraudster and woo merchant.

    Her website provides more insights.

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