National Geographic Ultimate Explorer
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer host Lisa Ling, holds up hair sold for cash, as she embarks on a journey to discover which parts of the human body are marketable and how much they are really worth.
updated 1/12/2004 2:52:12 PM ET 2004-01-12T19:52:12

For many, earning money can be an everyday struggle. But there is an extremely valuable commodity that everyone possesses — one’s own body. While it is not a resource that most people choose to tap, there are a substantial number of people who rely on selling their own body parts as a source of income. 

The human body is a living factory that can manufacture products that no laboratory can recreate. From kidneys to hair, to eggs, sperm and blood, many body parts can be sold through both legal and illegal avenues, and the dollar value increases with the amount of risk involved. For those who cash in, the body can be a source of income that can be tapped again and again. And for those in need, organs and other essential body parts can mean the difference between life and death.

National Geographic Ultimate Explorer host Lisa Ling embarks on a journey to discover which parts of the human body are marketable and how much they are really worth. Traveling as far as India, she uncovers where the best markets are found and how people cash in on this unusual trade.

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