Naturally, we begin with a snake. In late May, a 10-foot python crawled from 38-year-old Atthaporn Boonmakchuay’s squat toilet in his home in Thailand and latched onto his penis. There are conflicting reports about what happened next. But somehow either Boonmakchuay and/or his wife tied the snake to the bathroom door with a rope of some kind before Boonmakchuay passed out — from the pain, blood loss or both. What exactly happened to his dick was never revealed by doctors, but his bathroom was a horror show; the all-white tile floors and walls looked as though they had been mopped in blood. The New York Post reported that the snake had taken hold for a good 30 minutes. Boonmakchuay, however, seemed chill about it, at least according to his doctors. “He has a really good attitude … even though his own wife and children were in shock,” one of them told the Thai media. “He’s been smiling and giving interviews all day from his bed.”
Generally speaking, below-the-belt animal bites are more myth than fact. “In the United States animal bites account for 800,000 injuries yearly requiring medical attention and it is estimated that 1 of 2 Americans is bitten by an animal or person in their lifetime,” the Brazilian authors of the most comprehensive study on the topic wrote in The Journal of Urology in 2001. “Despite these rates genital trauma due to animal bite is rare.” So rare that the authors could only find 10 such bites over a 16-year period at their hospital. A similar study — this one focused on dog bites in developing countries — found just three more from January 1997 and July 2008.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, But what about the candiru, that nasty Amazonian fish that swims up your urethra while you’re swimming and takes residence there until it either kills you or a doctor forcibly removes it by cutting off your penis? I saw it on Grey’s Anatomy and read about it in Fight Club and Naked Lunch. That isn’t just rare; it’s bullshit. European explorers stoked the fears of a Great Penis-Eating Fish starting in the 19th century, probably inspired by campfire tales told by locals who learned of it via one Amazon-River-long game of telephone. According to a BBC article that debunks the candiru penis-devouring myth, “As W.R. Allen, a renowned Amazonian ichthyologist, put it: ‘I was told of numerous cases of the candirus entering the urethra, but they were always some distance downstream, and when I arrived downstream I was told of many such cases upstream.’” At best, the medical literature supports one such case, while the BBC quoted Stephen Spotte, a marine scientist who attempted to verify recent tales of candiru cock-chomping (without much luck), as saying the odds were about the same as “being struck by lightning while simultaneously being eaten by a shark.”
That’s not to say your penis can’t serve as fishing tackle. Case in point: This naked Russian angler who seemingly caught a grayling with his penis — for, it would appear, the amusement of his buddy Alexei, who happened to be filming the whole thing.
Larry David most famously offered up his dick as an animal chew toy for an audience: Jeff and Susie Greene’s dog biting his penis while he was taking a leak at their house during a Season Four episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. (The dog allegedly gave Larry a boner, which is why Jeff theorized it went after Larry’s dick in the first place; true to Curb form, somehow all of this tied back to Larry’s role in the stage version of The Producers.)
But why end on a downer? After all, there’s one kind of insect bite that might actually be good for you dick — that of the Brazilian Wandering Spider. “[An] erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort,” an expert in the spider presented to the American Physiological Society back in 2007. “We’re hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.” Maybe it’s nature’s way of giving back for some of the manhood it’s taken.