One American admitted to being so addicted to smelling, eating and slurping cans of tuna, that he consumes a whopping 15 cans a week.
‘Tuna’ Tyler, of Lawrence, Kansas, appeared in an episode of My Strange Addiction: Still Addicted? on TLC to talk about her fixation on canned fish.
A clip, uploaded to TLC Youtube channel, explored Tyler’s addiction, documenting how and why he prioritizes canned food in his day-to-day life.
According to the tuna lover, since he was a child he has preferred fish to other types of food, even going so far as to order cans of tuna as Easter and Christmas gifts over toys and chocolate.
Describing why he has a particular love for tuna, he cited its “smell, texture, sweetness, moisture and dryness.”
Tyler takes a small tuna can from his pocket, opens it and inhales deeply as he visits a coffee shop in his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas.
The three-minute video opens with a montage of shots of the farm in Tyler’s hometown of Lawrence before he introduces himself.
‘My name is Tyler, I’m from Lawrence, Kansas, which is in the middle of nowhere. They are farms and country things. He is very, very easy going, life in Lawrence is very boring,” he says.
The scene then changes to Tyler sitting in a quiet diner, while a waitress serves him a hot drink.
But instead of taking a sip of his freshly made drink, Tyler pulls a small can of tuna from his pocket, opens it, and inhales deeply as he closes his eyes.
The waitress stands awkwardly off to the side, looking at him in confusion, until he widens his eyes and nods in satisfaction, saying, ‘Yeah. Nice way to start the day.
During his on-camera piece, Tyler describes himself as a “big fish in a small can.”
He continues: ‘They call me Tuna Tyler, and I’m addicted to smelling tuna. When people see me smelling tuna in public, they’ll probably think it’s a little different.
“It may seem strange to other people, but for me, I think it’s perfectly fine.”
Tyler has been addicted to sniffing and slurping canned tuna for five years, spending approximately 4,000 cans during that time.
Alluding to his 24-hour habit, Tyler says, “I love to smell tuna every day, all the time, all night, any day, every day.”
The tuna enthusiast then admits to another shocking element of his addiction that can twist even the strongest stomach.
He says, ‘Not only do I like to smell the tuna, but I definitely like to drink some of the juice straight from the can, too.
‘What I love about the smell of tuna is definitely fishy, a light aroma with a bit of sweetness. But what I love about the flavor is its texture. I like that it’s not too wet, but not too wet either, too dry.
The show reports that Tyler has been addicted to smelling and drinking canned tuna for five years.
He uses 15 cans a week, which adds up to about 780 a year, with an estimated 4,000 cans consumed during the period of his addiction.
Tyler rummages through his kitchen to show exactly how much tuna he has in the cabinets. He produces dozens of cans of various brands and flavors.
Describing his collection, he says: ‘I have chunk light. I don’t really like albacore tuna, but I have, like, yellowfin. All tuna will never, ever be created equal.
Later, Tyler admits that he prefers tuna cans with oil that sits on top of the water, as they allow the fish to “stay” dry and mushy.
He then describes why he likes to eat tuna with his bare hands, even though it gets messy.
According to Tyler: ‘I don’t mind when the juices run down my chin. I like everything about me, because it makes me feel good and dirty.
Tyler’s mother, Ursula, also appears, explaining how her son’s fondness for fish turned into a full-blown addiction over the years.
She says: ‘When he was little, and most of the children at Easter wanted chocolate in their baskets, we put tuna and sardines because he liked that.
Tyler tells the show how, as a child, he already liked fish, even asking for tuna as a present for birthdays, Christmas and Easter instead of the traditional gifts.
“But I didn’t think it would become where I was smelling it and being addicted to tuna.”
Confirming his mother’s version of events, Tyler says, ‘Some kids will get candy canes and I would get cans of tuna. It was a luxurious morsel to put in the bottom of a stocking.
Tyler’s fascination with fish may not hurt anyone else, but according to experts, he could hurt himself by eating 15 cans of tuna a week.
Tuna contains Omega-3s, iodine, and other beneficial nutrients, but it also contains high levels of mercury.
ABC’s Catalyst revealed in 2022 that eating more than 25 to 35 cans of tuna a week could put you in danger of mercury poisoning.