Shark Week got me thinking about a lot of things. Like how when I was five, I thought Jaws could swim from the ocean through the sewer and pop out of the toilet while I was dropping a deuce. Or how when I was hired to rewrite the sequel to Deep Blue Sea 2, the studio said “We need it to look like it costs $100 million, but we can only afford $1.5 million…so does it have to take place in water with all those sharks?”
But the one thing I think about mostly during Shark Week is shark penises. Which inevitably leads me to thinking about other penises. In fact, I like to think of the shark penis as a “gateway penis.”
I’m sure you’re thinking “WTF, Jessica, enough about Great White wangs.” But here’s where you’re wrong. Thinking about shark dicks leads us down a glorious path of scientific discovery. There’s a lot of funky junk in the animal kingdom, and shark penises are just the tip of the iceberg. And as we all know, the tip of the iceberg is the most sensitive part.
You might have heard that sharks have two penises. But that’s not entirely accurate. Yes, they have two appendages called claspers that look like penises.
But claspers are actually deeply grooved extensions of the shark’s pelvic fins, rather than independent appendages. So technically, they’re not a “true penis.” Fun fact: True Penis was the original working title of True Detective. Not sure why they changed it.
Sharks aren’t the only animal that rocks out with their two cocks out. Snakes also have two-headed genitals called a hemipenis. However, like the shark, a hemipenis isn’t a true double dong. It’s a single penis divided into two halves.
Snakes only use one-half of the Y-shaped organ at a time, often “switching heads” from hook-up to hook-up. Fun fact: Switching Heads was the working title for Boogie Nights. Not sure why they changed it.
Not to be outdone is the echidna, a fun little egg-laying mammal found in Australia and New Guinea.
Apparently echidnas heard the old saying “two heads are better than one,” and thought “I got that beat.” Echidnas have a four-headed penis. However, only one head is active at a time (much like human males). When one head is exhausted, the next head rotates into action. I was going to show you a picture of an actual four-headed echidna penis, but when I googled “echidna penis,” this is what came up. And honestly, how could I not share?
Okay, so two penises are fun, and four penises are funner. But what about a detachable penis? The argonaut octopus has that covered. While he’s out feeding or just chilling in the deep blue sea, the argonaut octopus’ penis can detach itself and swim off looking for love. And while the idea of a random floating penis out there on the prowl is a tad horrifying, I do appreciate the level of multi-tasking at work here.
I’ve saved the best penis for last. It belongs to the water boatman. Boatmen are tiny freshwater insects found throughout Europe. And they’re noisy as hell. Like crickets on steroids. But it’s not their legs they’re rubbing together. It’s their junk. Water boatmen rub their penises against their ribbed bellies to create a melodic love call.
If you’ve ever heard it, it sounds like they’re playing the washboard, jamming in a bug Zydeco band. And there it is, folks. The weirdest sentence I’ve ever written. Which is only slightly less weird than musical penises. So thank you, Animal Kingdom, for showing us your dick pics. But only when we ask for them.