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.


  1. #1 Pacal
    Toronto, Canada
    June 15, 2012

    Weirdly fascinating. I also found it fascinating that it appears that the comments have been removed from your earlier posts say like in January 2011.

  2. #2 LiisaW
    June 15, 2012

    My distrust to seafood is now validated. Now excuse me, I need to throw up.

  3. #3 BO_Behold
    June 15, 2012

    I am very happy that professionals study these things.

  4. #4 Rob
    June 18, 2012

    Eehh… Yuck?! I wasn’t that fond of octopus to begin with but now…

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