For most people who suffer an attack of the hiccups it is usually nothing more than an annoying inconvenience. Often it will last no more than an hour, and can be treated with a simple glass of water. For some people however, it can last a long time, a very long time, as was the case for Charles Osborne who set the record for the longest hiccups record.
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Charles Osborne was born in 1892 and began hiccupping in 1922 at the age of 29 when a 350-pound (158.8 kilogram) hog that was about to be slaughtered fell on him. It is believed that it either damaged an abdomen muscle, or a blood vessel in the brain burst and subsequently destroyed part of the brain stem that inhibits hiccupping. Unfortunately for Osborne, once he started hiccupping after the accident he continued until 1990, and in doing so set the record for the longest hiccups ever recorded.
Before anyone asks why nothing was done to stop them from occurring we can tell you that several attempts were made to stop the problem from persisting. Surgeons attempted operations to stop the hiccups, but the attempts proved unsuccessful. He did manage to stop them for a period of 36 hours by using hormone therapy, but due to other complications the treatment had to be halted.
How often did Osborne hiccup when he set the longest hiccups record?
All I can say is, poor guy. Osborne hiccupped on average every ten seconds while he was suffering the longest hiccups ever recorded. To put this into perspective, that is six hics every minute, 360 every hour, 8640 every day and 3,153,600 every year, for 68 years. They finally stopped on 5 June, 1990 when he was aged 97.
During his time suffering from the unusual condition he gained a certain level of fame. He appeared on several radio and television shows between 1936 and 1983. He is also featured as a question in the popular board gae Trivial Pursuit, and there is even a question about him and his condition on a trivia app for the iPod touch.
Osborne died on May 1, 1991 due to complications from ulcers.