You’ve probably learned a lot in school about reproduction. Females are generally impregnated by their male counterparts. The only species that are an exception to the rule are those capable of a phenomenon called parthenogenesis, which is described as a creature’s ability to give birth on its own.
If you think parthenogenesis is strange, then you’re bound to be even more creeped out by how this woman was impregnated – by an actual squid!
A woman, 63, Becomes Pregnant in the Mouth After Eating Squid!
Move over! Nadya Suleman, a real-life octo-mom, is here!
According to reports, a 63-year-old woman became pregnant in the mouth after consuming a portion of uncooked squid. The out-of-this-world occurrence was written in a scientific paper for the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland.
The report added that the South Korean woman managed to “give birth” to a total of 12 baby squids after eating calamari. So how can something like this happen in the first place? It all started when the unlucky lady bit into the squid, which most likely still had some uncooked parts. She almost immediately felt a sharp pain in her mouth but disregarded it for a while. She finally went for a checkup after feeling “bug-like” organisms squirming all over her mouth.
When doctors examined her, they were shocked to discover baby cephalopods attached to her mouth. These are tiny pods that are covered in cement-like material to make them stick. Inside these pods was an ejaculatory apparatus that was rapidly shooting out sperm.
The doctors scheduled an emergency operation, where they managed to remove 12 squid spermatophores around her cheek, teeth, and tongue. Here is the official report:
“She did not swallow the portion but spat it out immediately. She complained of a pricking and foreign-body sensation in the oral cavity.
“Twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva [gums] were completely removed, along with the affected mucosa.
“On the basis of their morphology and the presence of the sperm bag, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores.”
A similar case was reported in December last year when a woman in Japan suffered severe pains in her mouth after eating raw squid.
She took the remaining piece of squid with her to the Tosei General Hospital, the NCBI reports, and sperm bags were removed.
Incidents involving the impregnation of human mouths appear to be confined to the Far East where, generally, more raw fish is eaten.
When squid is prepared in the west, internal organs are removed meaning there is no risk of eating spermatophores.
Danna Staaf, a squid enthusiast from Science 2.0, said: ‘The skin on your hands, and most of the rest of your body, is much too thick to get stuck.
‘I’ve probably had hundreds of spermatophores ejaculate on my fingers and never felt a sting.’
According to the Biological Bulletin ‘Spermatophores are either transferred to the female by the male’s hectocotylus, a specialized arm, or by a long penis, which is present in species that lack hectocotyli.
‘After being discharged from the spermatophore in the spermatophoric reaction, the sperm mass is encased in a thin covering, with the cement body at one end.
‘This discharged structure, the spermatangium, may attach to the skin of the female or be deeply embedded in her skin or muscle.’
The reproduction of deep-sea squids is still something of a mystery simply because their habitat is hard to get to.
Image via The Daily Mail