‘Brazilian Hulk’ dead at 55
Bodybuilder Valdir Segato, who became known online as the 'Brazilian Hulk' for artificially inflating his muscles with the use a synthetic oil called synthol, has died at the age of 55.
According to reports, Segato had been using synthol for more than five years and had expanded his biceps from 12 to 23 inches during that time with the use of the oil, which is injected directly into muscle tissue, while also doing the same to his pectorals and back muscles.
According to reports, Segato passed away on July 27 - the day of his 55th birthday.
His gigantic (but somewhat fraudulent) frame had gained notoriety online, and he indicated in interviews that he was inspired to alter his body due to his fandom of the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and fictional Marvel character the Incredible Hulk.
The oil doesn't provide its user with any additional strength, and only has cosmetic purposes.
However, the use of synthol comes with several potential health maladies including vastly increased risk of strokes and infections which in some cases have led to amputations for synthol users.
But speaking in 2016, Segato indicated that he felt the risk was worth the reward.
“They call me Hulk, Schwarzenegger and He-Man all the time and I like that. I’ve doubled my biceps but I still want to be bigger,” he told The Daily Mail.
He had been warned as to the potential negative impact to his health for several years, with doctors saying he was risking muscle disfigurement and serious nerve damage if he continued to self-administer synthol injections.
Segato, though, embraced the notoriety he received online. He referred to himself as 'Valdir Synthol' on social media platform Instagram and gained more than 1.7 million followers on Tik Tok where he would post brief videos of enormous figure.
However, by contrast it is thought that he lived a solitary life outside of social media and was rarely visited by friends.
Brazilian outlet Globo reported that Segato had complained of a shortness of breath on the day he died.
“It was around 6 a.m., more or less. He came crawling through the back house and came to the front. Then he knocked on my mother’s window, knocked, knocked, then she woke up and he said ‘Help me, help me because I’m dying,’” a neighbor was quoted by Globo as saying.
He appeared to suffer a heart attack shortly after arriving at a hospital reception.
But per one of Segato’s friends, Fernando Carvalho da Silva, he was aware of the danger he was placing himself in.
“It’s the risk he takes,” Da Silva had previously said. “He wants to look good and wants to be famous.”