Korean researchers report a case of painful insemination of the membranes of a woman's mouth by squid spermatophores after she ate parboiled squid along with its internal organs. Bug-like organisms stuck to the woman's tongue, cheeks and gums.
According to the paper titled, "Penetration of the oral mucosa by parasite-like sperm bags of squid," published in the Journal of Parasitology, researchers determined that the 63-year-old woman's mouth was literally inseminated by spermatophores of parboiled squid of the species Todarodes pacificus, after laboratory examination of the "twelve small white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck to the membrane of her tongue, cheeks and gingiva." The bug-like organisms were identified as squid spermatophores on the basis of their morphology and the presence of a sperm bag.
Medical Daily reports that the woman, who immediately spat out the partially boiled squid, rushed to the hospital where the doctors "diagnosed" her condition. According to the researchers, the spermatophores survived cooking, and were still active enough to inseminate the woman's oral cavity.
Medical Daily explains that "a spermatophore or sperm ampulla is a capsule, which contains spermatozoa, produced by males of various animal species and is transferred in its entirety to a female during copulation. Each sperm capsule has an ejaculatory apparatus, capable of ejecting the sperm mass quite forcefully, and a cement body for attachment."
Male squids use this mechanism for inseminating the female, but in this case, the attempt at insemination took place in the woman's mouth.
There have been several reports of "sperm stings" after eating raw or parboiled squid, but the latest case study was the first to confirm spermatophore activity in partially cooked squid.
Science20.com, however, explains to calamari connoisseurs, who may be thinking of abandoning their delicacy dishes, that in most parts of the West, internal organs of squids are removed before they are prepared for human consumption. In such circumstances, there is no risk of diners ingesting squid spermatophores and getting their mouths "painfully" inseminated.