As if squid for dinner or in Christmas Eve “gravy” wasn’t bad enough (sorry, grandma, but I don’t eat calamari and scungilli), this story will put you off any sort of squid-based cuisine, probably through several lifetimes, if you believe in reincarnation.
Think squid is gross and tasted like overcooked rubber bands? Well, it actually can reach new levels of disgusting, as this tale out of Korea (which we will point out sounds like several urban legends including the very NSFW lobster one, the one about roach eggs in Taco Bell food and the woman who swallows a baby octopus) said to be published in Journal of Parasitology details.
According to the paper, a 63-year-old woman “experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs,” (ew, ew ew already) before spitting out the squid. Still, the patient felt “pricking and foreign-body sensation” all throughout her mouth, necessitating a trip to the emergency room due to the Cronenbergian horror to which she had been subjected.
The grossness continued at the hospital, where doctors removed about a dozen “small, white, spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva,” and later, confirmed the organisms were the dead squid’s spermatophores.
Medical Daily quotes Danna Staaf from Squid a Day who explains of the bug-like creatures:
“Of course, neither of those is a needle or a knife—the sort of thing you’d expect to need for actual implantation… As it turns out, no one is quite sure how spermatophores implant themselves into skin.”
Staaf confirms that there have been recorded incidents involving “sperm stings” from squid, but that this is the first case of spermatophore activity in cooked squid.