Many people complain about a food baby after indulging in a big meal, but one woman actually became “pregnant” after consuming a common seafood dish. After eating some seemingly innocuous calamari and experiencing a sharp pain in her mouth, doctors found the 63-year-old’s oral cavity had become impregnated with 12 baby squid.
The bizarre discovery was made after a 63-year-old Korean woman experienced intense pain in her mouth after consuming a plate of parboiled squid. The woman spit out the food immediately after the sensation, but continued to experience “a prickling and foreign-body” throughout her mouth.
Upon examination, doctors discovered multiple “baby cephalopods” attached to the interior of the woman’s mouth. The pods, later identified as “squid spermatophores,” are sacks which have an apparatus inside that forcefully releases sperm, using a cement-like material that secures itself to a wall. Despite the squid being boiled before served, the cephalopod “spermatophores” were still alive and managed to penetrate the woman’s mouth.
A scientific paper reporting the incident from the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland, states: “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.”
It’s believed that the chewing of the sperm sacks is what prompted them to forcefully shoot and embed sperm throughout the woman’s mouth. Turns out, the interior of the mouth is one of the few places these spermatophores could actually penetrate. “The skin on your hands, and most of the rest of your body, is much too thick to get stuck,” Danna Staaf, a squid aficionado from Science 2.0 stated. “I’ve probably had hundred of spermatophores [discharge] on my fingers and never felt a sting.”
Deep sea squids and how they reproduce remains somewhat of a mystery due to their habitat not being easily accessible. However, these bizarre cases have actually helped research in further understanding how deep sea squid mate.
As wild as a squid inseminating a mouth sounds, this woman’s viral story isn’t an isolated incident. Several cases in Japan have been reported of spermatophores impregnating oral cavities, but this woman’s incident is the first time that it’s happened with the consumption of parboiled squid versus raw. However, calamari lovers fear not, internal organs are removed when squid is being prepared in the Western-world, which means there’s no risk of your mouth becoming an incubator for squid babies.