A Chinese man who slid into a spa tub full of eels to enjoy some rejuvenating piscine exfoliation ended up in hospital with one of the slippery customers lodged firmly up his todger.
Zhang Nan, of Honghu, Hubei Province, recounted: "I climbed into the bath and I could feel the eels nibbling my body. But then suddenly I felt a severe pain and realised a small eel had gone into the end of my penis. I tried to hold it and take it out, but the eel was too slippery to be held and it disappeared up my penis."
Cue a three-hour intervention by doctors, who eventually extracted the 15cm-long eel from the 56-year-old's bladder, where it had unsurprisingly, and mercifully, already departed for anguilline heaven.
For the benefit of those of you who are currently sitting crossed-legged and wondering just how a six-inch eel can work its way up your spam javelin, surgeon Jin Wang elaborated: "The diameter of the urethra in a man's penis is just a little narrower, but because eels are quite slippery, its body worked as a lubricant and so it got into the penis smoothly."
Practical Fishkeeping helpfully >notes that the creature in question was an Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus), according to "a quick examination of the photograph of the offending fish".*
The report adds that it's a good job this species is "is free of spines", unlike the fearsome candiru. This catfish legendarily stalks the waters of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers waiting for someone to unwisely take a leak, at which point it nips up the stream of urine and wedges itself inside their urethra by means of backward-facing spines on its gill covers.
The evidence for such attacks is purely anecdotal, but when I was in the Amazon some years back just the idea of the penis-penetrating devil fish was enough to convince me to keep it zipped up when in close proximity to the mighty watercourse. ®
*Sadly, said picture is not forthcoming, so we're braced for the traditional reader calls for "Playmobil or it didn't happen".
Thanks to Roger Byrne for the tip-off.