By Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

April 3, Softpedia

Human habits are extremely diverse worldwide. But some really leave you stunned. And while we are searching for remote galaxies and worlds in the sky, some things seem to belong to other worlds.

You can imagine the shock of Shamsunnahar Hena, a gynecologist in a Bangladesh hospital, when her pregnant patient said she had been eating half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of soil every day since she got pregnant.

An increasing number of pregnant woman in Bangladeshi Sylhet
region, more famous for its tea plantations, are consuming charred soil, which according to the local tradition, it boosts their appetite and health, translated into the delivery of a healthy child. But soil eating is a very dangerous issue (imagine that the anthrax bacteria and others resist for years in the soil) and that soil is just scorched.

"Often we get pregnant women complaining of dysentery and some other problems, but in most cases they are found guilty of eating soil," Hena told Reuters.

The habit is also fueled by many poor and jobless people, who collect and burn mud to sell it at up to 120 taka ($ 1.7) per kg ($ 0.77 per pound).
"Normally they eat a piece or two in a day, but recently I got a patient who confessed to eating half a kilogram of soil every day during her pregnancy period," said Hena, the chief gynecologist in Sylhet's Osmani Medical College.

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