Bizarre Skyrim bug causes cannibal to be killed instantly by eating corpse

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A promo screenshot for Skyrim.
Credit: Image via Mobygames.

When they’re not creating hilariously broken potions, being hunted down by couriers, or checking their phone, Skyrim’s Dragonborn can often be found getting up to all kinds of morally dubious acts.

From getting into combat with innocent citizens, to stealing pocket change, and even violating sacred burial rites, all of these are enough to see the game’s hero be locked up for life.

Naturally, this never happens, mainly because a game has to happen, though it seems there is occasionally some justice served in Tamriel as one hungry player on Reddit recently found out.

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Have you ever had a cannibalistic Skyrim playthrough go wrong?

Their misfortune is the topic of a recent thread in the Skyrim subreddit, which began with a post from the player in question, user ZHIKIX, who shared a clip of their cannibalistic character attempting to chow down on a slain bandit, only to end up keeling over themselves, captioning it: “This man was so rancid that when I took a bite I died.”

Some of their fellow players immediately began to present amusing theories as to why this strange event had occurred, with user BanjoKrat musing: “Come on man. Always read the sell-by date first.”, leading ZHIKIX to jokingly reply: “I did and it said it was good for another five days.”

Thankfully, user Sostratus was able to actually get to the bottom of the extraordinary eating event, citing a bug in the game which can cause players at low health to die if they consume two corpses in quick succession due to a quirk in the way the active effects of cannibalism are applied.

It seems as though not many players are aware of this obscure little tidbit, with user VillainNotHeroes saying: “Wow, I didn't know that. I half hoped that the more bodies I ate, the effect would have stacked…” and S1eepyZ adding: “I did a couple quick googles but nobody has made a mod [to fix] it, from what I saw.”

While that specific mod might not exist yet, if you’re after one that makes cannibalism a little more bourgeois, modder Ebonief’s ‘Gourmet Cannibalism’ might be worth adding to your mod menu.

Regardless of where your Skyrim character gets their protein, make sure to follow us for more updates on The Elder Scrolls 6 and the wacky world of Skyrim modding.