A 14-year-old boy in China drank gasoline for five years in the hope of becoming a Transformer, a report has claimed.
The Yibin City youth consumed the petrol to obtain energy and become a "valiant fighter" like Optimus Prime, after watching the animated version of the successful film franchise, his father told Shanghai Daily.
The drinking pattern began in 2004 when the teenager's mother owned a grocery stall, while she noticed that lighters were going missing from the stand.
"He began to drink gasoline five years ago, when we found [out] he liked smelling lighter fuel," his dad said. "Afterwards, we found our motorcycle's gasoline was always disappearing, and one day when we found the boy had drunk a half bottle of gasoline stolen from the motorcycle, we were too shocked to say anything."
The boy's level of intelligence has decreased significantly as a result of his desire to emulate his heroes.
"Since my son started to drink gas, his IQ has dropped sharply and now he can't figure out simple addition and subtraction. Before that, he was a very smart boy, and he could even repair the television. But now he does not know the answer of 7 plus 17."
The teenager's parents took him to a local area hospital where he was diagnosed with a mental disorder and a strong "gasoline dependency".
"The gasoline contains a lot of lead, which can do harm to people's brains. To make things even worse, the boy is in the physical development stage, and the lead has caused serious damage to his body," Dr Peng Houquan added.
Source: China Daily/Agencies