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Jun 14 2012

I may have to give up calamari

Just the title was enough to make me squeamish: Penetration of the Oral Mucosa by Parasite-Like Sperm Bags of Squid: A Case Report in a Korean Woman. It seems the woman thought she was getting dinner; the squid saw a last chance to reproduce. As is common with these kinds of misunderstandings, neither got what they wanted.

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.

Has this story been optioned for a horror movie yet?

By the way, Todarodes pacificus is the Japanese Flying Squid — now with the reputation of being vicious airborne inseminators.


Park GM, Kim JY, Kim JH, Huh JK (2012) Penetration of the oral mucosa by parasite-like sperm bags of squid: a case report in a Korean woman. J Parasitol.98(1):222-3.

44 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    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.

    This is why I always blanche my genitalia before dinner.

    Well, one of the reasons.

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    Atheist squid have no decency whatsoever.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    Heliantus

    after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs

    OK, I was already squeamish about eating any animal part other than skeletal muscles, now I’m going to panic and yell “face-hugger” next time I’m confronted with shellfish…

  4. 4
    ChasCPeterson

    parboiled flying squid’s last words:
    “pew! pew! pew!”

  5. 5
    anuran

    She had sex with an animal.
    Jehovah demands she be killed

  6. 6
    Area Man

    “Has this story been optioned for a horror movie yet?”

    Horror movie? What about porn?

  7. 7
    Yui Daoren

    A freind of mine is impressed with rattlesnakes because “they can still bite after they’re dead”.

    Phfft.

    Can they still have sex after they’re dead and parboiled?

    Cephalopods > Reptiles. :P

  8. 8
    unbound

    That’s why I’m perfectly happy with my fully cooked (i.e. deep fried) Calamari. Parboiled? Sheesh…lucky the woman hadn’t run into problems earlier.

  9. 9
    Keith Peterson

    Do they not cook squid in Korea? Or was the squid not properly prepared?

    I’m not sure which grosses me out more…

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This is why I always blanche my genitalia before dinner.

    Well, one of the reasons.

    I call foul!

    Once again, Brownian has won the entire thread on the first comment. This is unfair to those of us who are, er, like me. Y’know, slow on the uptake? Liberal arts majors?

  11. 11
    Amphiox

    @9;

    There is a Korean tradition, similar to sushi in Japan, of eating certain seafoods nearly raw. In the case of cephalopods, it entails the animal being so fresh that it’s muscles are still capable of independent movement (remember that in cephalopods, unlike vertebrates, a significant amount of neural activity is done by a massive complex neural net in the arms and not their brains – male cephalopods literally do think, in part, with their reproductive organs, at least the ones that use specialized tentacles for the purpose)

    There are known cases of gourmands dying from ingesting octopi in this manner, where the still active tentacles clamp down in the pharynx in the act of swallowing, blocking the windpipe.

  12. 12
    terrellk70

    All right, lets see this on Iron Chef!!

  13. 13
    Amphiox

    (It is interesting to note, by comparison, that in Japanese sushi, sashimi, at least the versions most commonly available here in NA, cephalopods are actually partially cooked, unlike the fishes that are served raw.)

  14. 14
    Keith Peterson

    @Amphiox

    Seems needlessly dangerous and risky. I mean, if you want to eat your food raw, at least remove the dangerous sharp bits and cut it down to size so you don’t choke.

  15. 15
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I have never in my life been so happy to be anti-shellfish in my entire life, until I remembered that I love crab. That’s a shellfish, right?

    Do they have projectile pregnancy bombs too?

  16. 16
    kc9oq

    The Japanese film Tampopo has several scenes involving the Asian fondness for nearly raw seafood, such as drowning live shrimp in brandy before consumption. If you can find a copy, watch it — it is a very funny movie.

  17. 17
    Amphiox

    Well, this is the same culinary tradition (Korean and Japanese cuisine are related) that gave us fugu.

    Of course, conceptually it’s not that different from deep fried bacon. Just quicker.

  18. 18
    Anthony K

    parboiled flying squid’s last words:
    “pew! pew! pew!”

    +1

  19. 19
    briandavis

    This is why I always blanche my genitalia before dinner.

    That sounds painful. And I’m not sure what it would have to do with keeping you safe from your food.

  20. 20
    Amphiox

    The thing about cephalopod flesh in times and areas without reliable refrigeration, it deteriorates EXTREMELY quickly. If it’s still squirming, you KNOW it isn’t rotten.

    The bible solved this problem by declaring them abominations. Coastal peoples like the ancient Koreans and Japanese didn’t have this option, since they preferred not to starve.

  21. 21
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Man it’s this kind of thing that gives barbed packets of sperm a bad name. Jeez.

  22. 22
    Akira MacKenzie

    Hmmmm… was the waiter a rather quiet blonde fellow who looked and spoke like Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia?

  23. 23
    No One

    Is this an instance of lateral gene transfer?

  24. 24
    kp71

    Grossest science paper I’ve ever read.

  25. 25
    Sili

    Horror movie? What about porn?

    Well, moneyshots are awfully popular.

  26. 26
    Gregory Greenwood

    Akira MacKenzie @ 22;

    Hmmmm… was the waiter a rather quiet blonde fellow who looked and spoke like Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia?

    You have seen Prometheus too, I take it?

    Fassbender’s David has to be the best (if literally amoral) character in that movie.

  27. 27
    Gregory Greenwood

    Area Man @ 6;

    Horror movie? What about porn?

    Bitter experience has taught me to never underestimate the power of Rule 34…

  28. 28
    Akira MacKenzie

    @Gregory Greenwood

    You have seen Prometheus too, I take it?

    Now what EVER gave you that idea?

    Yes, Fassbender’s David was excellent. I’m not as down on this movie as some. The visuals were stunning and I found the performances good. However, the BIG QUESTIONS that this movie was supposed to have raised were merely glossed over and the ending was not as dark as I was hoping.

    Also, the plot is a more or less a rip-off of Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness.”

  29. 29
    interrobang

    This is yet another reason for me to avoid the avalanche of ick that is Korean food.

    Any culture that eats a very close analogue of Klingon gaQ (made of a marine worm which doesn’t have an English name) is not a culture whose dining habits I’m personally likely to appreciate anyway…

  30. 30
    Alex

    Not a day goes by that I am happy to be a vegetarian. But anyways, concerning rule 34, I think this is a fitting revenge of cephalopoddom for that type of asian porn, you know which I mean, that a friend of mine told me that a former co-worker once saw someone talk about on the internet, that is really gross.

  31. 31
    Alex

    ^that I am not happy [...]
    damn triple negations

  32. 32
    A. R

    Show me a feline that can perform post-mortem insemination!

  33. 33
    Big Boppa

    She forgot to tell them to hold the bukakke?

  34. 34
    Greg Laden

    I wish I knew about this before I finished my SSA fundraising novel ( http://goo.gl/gwXY6 ) because I could of totally used that.

  35. 35
    Greg Laden

    Amphiox, do you mean like this?

  36. 36
    Greg Laden

    Sorry, I just meant to include a link. I hate when YouTube does that.

  37. 37
    Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa

    I hate when YouTube does that.

    I hate it when WordPress does that. Isn’t there a way to turn the auto embedding off?

  38. 38
    Greg Laden

    Yes, I think so. Maybe. We have the “smart youtube” plugin. You can uncheck “display videos in comments” and you can also play around with video appearence which might make them work better in comments. Prob. worth looking at. I’ve got “embed in comments” off on the X Blog.

  39. 39
    congaboy

    “A 63-yr-old Korean woman experienced severe pain in her oral cavity ”

    “[I]n her oral cavity?” How about “in her mouth?” Oral cavity makes it sound like the squid forced himself on her. Ew, maybe he did or is this an assumption of the risk type of situation?

  40. 40
    larrylyons

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the meme”

    I’ve seen too much Hentai to see where this is going…

  41. 41
    madscientist

    Well, if they’re not going to bother removing the innards or even boil the beast ’til it’s cooked through, they’re welcome to a natural lesson on cooking.

  42. 42
    Gregory Greenwood

    Akira MacKenzie @ 28;

    *** Beware – Possible Prometheus Spoilers Ahead ***

    Now what EVER gave you that idea?

    I have no clue… maybe the idea was beamed into my brain by an alien god? Its totes possible, indeed, mathematically inevitable – just ask Ridley…

    ;-P

    Yes, Fassbender’s David was excellent.

    His inspired performance was my favourite part of the movie, without a doubt.

    I’m not as down on this movie as some.

    I don’t really understand the intensity of the negativity in some quarters either. Sure, it wasn’t as good as Scott’s original Alien, but how many movies are? Alien is an acknowledged classic with a vast influence on popular culture that almost singlehandedly defined a darker, more grounded and credible vision of science fiction. That is one tough act to follow.

    Scott seems to be all about risking the nerd rage at the moment – he is looking to revist the much loved Bladerunner universe next, afterall…

    The visuals were stunning and I found the performances good.

    Most of the visuals were good, but the special effect ageing makeup on the Weyland character was… let’s just say a bold creative choice…

    As for the performances; as already noted, Fassbender was great as David. The captain was fun. Naomi Rapace was good in the lead as Shaw, and that body horror scene – you know the one I am talking about – while not on a par with John Hurt’s infamous Chestburster-at-dinner, was still horribly squicky and wince-inducing, even for a bloke.

    That said, was I the only one who found Shaw’s excessive religiosity grating? She says, when confronted with the apparent ‘alien gods’ origin of humanity that runs counter to her christianity, in almost as many words, that she still has faith because she wants to believe, and damn the evidence. I find that more than a little annoying in a character who is supposed to be a respected scientist.

    The rest of the crew were, frankly, perfectly serviceable if a bit forgettable, and I don’t know why some people raved about Charlize Theron’s turn as Vickers – I felt that her talents were largely wasted in a role were she was underused as something of a sub-Burke corporate jerk.

    However, the BIG QUESTIONS that this movie was supposed to have raised were merely glossed over…

    Yup, they pretty much ran away from the big stuff. Maybe out of the intimidating nature of writing about such sweeping topics and quite possibly coming off as ridiculous and/or pretentious, maybe out of fear of offending fundies, but just maybe they simply kept that stuff to one side because they always intended to extend the story into further films, maybe even a trilogy.

    Or mybe I am just being unduly optimistic.

    and the ending was not as dark as I was hoping

    There was the transparent fan service at the very end (again, you know what I am talking about) – but yes, I agree. The ending did come off as a little weak. The idea that David, who could only just speak the alien language, could suddenly instruct Shaw in how to fly a completely alien (and one assumes massively technologically advanced) ship, even though the original Alien movie seemed to imply that the pilot’s suit interfaced directly with the vessel’s systems such that it seemed to be, in Dallas’ words, ‘growing out of the chair’, came off as more than a little… convenient. Dare I suggest that here we are seeing a touch of deus ex machina?

    Also, the plot is a more or less a rip-off of Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness.”

    Well, you know what they say; there are no completely original stories. Almost all tales draw elements from one or more of a very small pool of dominant story-telling tropes. The art of story telling is all about the manner in which those elments are combined and interwoven with character, pacing, world-building, and the like. And of course there is the Hollywood effect – anything that comes off as too new or experimental makes Hollywood execs come out in hives…

    —————————————————————–

    Apologies for the thread derail and any spoilers.

  43. 43
    ibelieveindog

    I’m gonna have a hard time not laughing the next time I go down on my boyfriend.

    Spit or swallow?

  44. 44
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Zomg! Old disgusting urban legend that’s been around longer than the Internets comes true at last! Except, with the procreative material of another beastie, obviously… Heh. Can’t have it all ;-)

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