As a child, many will remember their parents jokingly telling them not to swallow apple seeds because a tree would grow inside us. A truly concerning thought for many a child.
But it seems there are worse things than having a tree growing inside you. Do you know, that a 63-year-old South Korean woman had her mouth inseminated after eating some undercooked seafood?
Doctors actually discovered 12 small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like sperm bags in her tongue and gums. Sounds like she got more than what she bargained for.
Documented in a 2012 edition of the Journal of Parasitology, the foreign bodies turned out to be squid spermatophores (sperm-containing capsules) belonging to a Japanese flying squid. But how on earth did this happen?
Turns out, the woman never removed the internal organs of the squid when she was preparing it. She then went on to parboil it for a few seconds, before devouring it. However, because it was not cooked long enough, the spermatophores were still alive and very well.
According to the study, as soon as the woman put a piece of the squid into her mouth, she felt like her tongue was being bitten by scores of bugs.
Experiencing sharp pain, she immediately spat it out and did not swallow. However, she experienced something horrifying. She could feel small squirming organisms penetrating her oral mucosa. She proceeded to seek medical assistance. Once the spermatophores were removed from her mouth, they were reportedly still moving.
It’s worth mentioning that spermatophores are not little organisms or bugs. They are a sack of sperm used by a few invertebrates and vertebrates to fertilise the female’s eggs during the reproduction process.
Scientists are not sure how the spermatophores successfully implanted themselves in the woman’s mouth.
But it seems she is not the only person this has happened too. In 2011, a 21-year-old Japanese woman had a similar experience. She apparently ate the sexual organs of a raw squid. That alone is rather gross.
The study explains the right fourth arm of a mature male of Todarodes pacificus (the squid in question) serves as the genital organ. Using this arm, the squid takes the sperm bag which comes from its penis and presses it against the female’s body. What the hell?
Eating a squid with sperm bags and an active ejaculatory apparition can, therefore, lead to the unintended ejection of the sperm back into the oral mucosa. I am never going to eat squid in my life.
But the study says one should not fret about this happening to them. There is no way your fried calamari can impregnate your tongue. Why not? Most squids served in restaurants won’t include sex organs. Furthermore, it should be cooked enough to kill off any sperm bags.
But, at least you know to avoid eating raw squid in strange places.