21 June 2012

Woman's oral mucosa penetrated by sperm from a squid

Here's the abstract from the Journal of Parasitology:
We report a case of oral stings by spermatophores of the squid Todarodes pacificus . A 63-yr-old Korean woman experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs. 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 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.
Via Science 2.0, which offers this information:
Each spermatophore includes an ejaculatory apparatus, which can expel the sperm mass quite forcefully, and a cement body for attachment... In order not to leave calamari connoisseurs unduly freaked out, I should clarify two points. First, most Western squid preparations remove the internal organs and serve only the muscle, so there's no danger of accidentally ingesting spermatophores. Second, it's perfectly fine to handle spermatophores--just don't put them in your mouth.

1 comment:

  1. And a third point. The woman was eating squid that was only parboiled - not exactly raw but also not exactly cooked.


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