It's not every day that you come across a utensil made for eating a person -- even for an oddities shop owner.
But when the folks who run Loved To Death, a San Francisco curio shop -- specializing in medical and biological oddities, historical curiosities, and taxidermy dioramas -- met Stefanos, a spiritual teacher who came in the store with an honest-to-goodness cannibal fork, they had to bite.
"This is just some of the stuff my family had laying around, but I don't eat people so it just doesn't seem like something I want to have," Stefanos explained.
The fork is nearly a foot long and comes from the Fiji Islands, whose natives have been known to engage in cannibalism from time to time over the centuries, according to salesperson Wednesday Mourning, who, along with Loved To Death owner Audra Kunkle, stars on "Oddities San Francisco," debuting June 23 on the Science Channel.
"Someone would come and kill someone from [one] tribe and [the other] would go and retaliate and kill and eat the other person," Mourning said. "It's kind of like a trade of souls and flesh."
Stefanos chewed on this for a moment before spitting out: "It's not something I ever used it for."
Mourning said that while cannibalism was popular in certain tribes across history, human flesh isn't the healthiest food one can eat.
"Some rare neuro-degenerative disorders called prion diseases can be spread eating contaminated human flesh," she said.
Kunkle was hungry for a different kind of knowledge: Figuring out why Stefanos' parents gave him the cannibal fork in the first place.
"Well, it may sound a little odd, but I actually do drink human blood," he said. "I do enjoy the taste and the texture."
Blood, like flesh, can be bloody awful for one's diet, Mourning said.
"Ingesting too much blood can be toxic because it's very rich, and humans have problems excreting excess iron that can lead to a liver swelling disease called hemochromotosis," she explained.
At the moment, Stefanos was more interested in green money than red blood so he sold the cannibal fork to Kunkle for $150, and some might say he made a real killing.
Loved To Death specializes in bizarre taxidermied creatures. Check out their gallery below.
The Loved To Death shop in San Francisco specializes in medical and biological oddities, historical curiosities, Victorian jewelry, and taxidermy dioramas. Oh, and two-headed pigeons.
Loved To Death owner Audra Kunkle is an accomplished taxidermist who has been bringing new life to dead things like this albino raccoon since the shop opened in 2008.
Victorian Lady Chipmunk
One of Kunkle's specialties is creating anthropomorphic dioramas featuring animals in human clothes and human surroundings. It was a popular hobby during the Victorian era that she says "was fascinating, yet so taboo. Even now."
Kunkle tries to use vintage clothes on all her anthropomophic taxidermied animals, but says it's easier to find clothes for birds than mice.
Kunkle doesn't go into her taxidermy project with a set idea, preferring to let the ideas hit her as she's working.
Bird In His Study
Kunkle said when she does an taxidermy piece she recycles a lot of parts that would otherwise being thrown by breeders. In that way, she keeps the animals alive.
Chipmunks Playing The Banjo
When making a taxidermy diorama, Kunkle says it's important to pay attention to detail.
Staff Of 'Oddities San Francisco'
The cast of 'Oddities San Francisco' stand in front of the Loved to Death shop in San Francisco. From left: Wednesday Mourning, Korri Sabatini, Audra Kunckle and Corin Griffin.
Knut The Polar Bear
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 16: A model of Knut the polar bear, that features Knut's original fur, stands on display to the public on its first day at the Natural History Museum on February 16, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Though Knut, the world-famous polar bear from the Berlin zoo abandoned by his mother and ultimately immortalized as a cartoon film character, stuffed toys, and more temporarily as a gummy bear, died two years ago, he will live on additionally as a partially-taxidermied specimen in the museum. Until March 15, the dermoplastic model of the bear will be on display before it joins the museum's archive, though visitors can see it once again as part of a permanent exhibition that begins in 2014. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)