Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hey, You Want This Job...?

Of all the things I can think of to do for a living, this is NOT going to be my first choice!

I guess I would do it if I had to, but it certainly wouldn't be enjoyable, that's for sure!

The Body Fishers

China has emerged as one of the suicide capitals of the world. Many choose to kill themselves by leaping into rivers. It has become such a problem that there are now people who are employed as “body fishers,” dragging corpses back to shore to be recovered by grieving family members.

China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world; according to the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, well over 250,000 people take their own lives there annually, many of them women. It is estimated that 26 percent of all the world’s suicides happen in China.

So many kill themselves that a chilling cottage industry has sprung up, a career of “body fishing”—prowling the Yellow River in search of floating corpses, which are then recovered and sold back to grief-stricken families for a tidy profit. Most of the victims are swept downstream from the city of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province in Northwest China. It is suggested that while some of these bodies come from murders and accidental flood drownings, some 85 percent are the result of suicide.

It is a sad and ugly business; body fishers keep their catch submerged to keep the face from rotting. It is much easier to make a profit when relatives can positively identify their loved ones. Wei Zhijun, a body fisher who earned the nickname of the “Yellow River Ghost Man,” makes a tidy profit practicing his macabre craft, claiming that during the summer flood season, he has found 20 bodies in a single day. Most times, the corpses are snagged up in other garbage in the river; if they make it far enough downstream, they are sucked into the turbines of dams and gruesomely dismembered.

According to statistics posted by the Lanzhou city water station, around 30 percent of the victims go unclaimed. After around three weeks, the body fishers will untie their “catch” and allow it to drift away. Perhaps most disturbingly of all, the Yellow River serves as a source of drinking water.

Of course, the problem isn’t limited to the Yellow River; in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is a popular place to leap from, so much so that at least one Good Samaritan has made it his life’s mission to patrol the length of the bridge, trying to save distraught jumpers.

I did NOT make this stuff up! I got the information from a great site called "KnowledgeNuts" and if you have never seen it before, you might want to drop by there and check it out!

Now that we have all the gross stuff out of the way, let's have some coffee in the kitchen this morning. Big storm last night and everything is still wet!


Gorges Smythe said...

In a deliberately atheistic society, I suppose suicide would be a given.

Chickenmom said...

It's sad that people feel so desperate that they think this is a way to end their problems.
47 here and clear - I'll bring some DD's for all!

Chickenmom said...

It's sad that people feel so desperate that they think this is a way to end their problems.
47 here and clear - I'll bring some DD's for all!

Momlady said...

I reckon life is not a bowl of cherries there. Too many mouths to feed.

linda m said...

Seems people all over the globe feel depression and desperate to end it all. It is sad when people don't have hope for anything better.

Sixbears said...

I've fished a few bodies out of rivers when I was a Firefighter. Would not want it as a full time job.

JO said...

It takes a certain kind of person to make that there living. But it is sad that so many take their own lives.

I'll take some coffee with everyone.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Too bad that those folks will never have the inner peace that faith can bring!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Phyllis...
I do hope that I don't ever feel that despondent!

Nice temps...I would like to share some of that!

Thanks for the DDs and for dropping by today!

Hey Momlady...
Sad to think that they have nothing to look forward to, isn't it?

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Linda...
To lose hope and give up is never an option in my playbook.

Truly, truly sad!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Sixbears...
Not an ideal job, I'm thinking!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Jo...
I guess it's a necessary evil and someone has to do it. Glad it isn't me!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I like to fish, but I don't want to fish for corpses.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
I certainly hear ya on that one!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over today!