Think you know all there is to know about the little guy down there? These 18 fascinating penis facts just might surprise and awe you.
No other anatomical feature of the male body “stands out” except the penis. In fact, humans are so fascinated by it, that if you visit an ancient ruin—be it in Rome, Egypt, or any other cradle of human civilization—chances are that you will be met with that familiar, elongated protrusion that could only be a penis. People have even gone into the realm of the extreme by worshiping it.
If you think that being a guy or a girl who has been with a lot of guys makes you an expert on the penis, there are still so many times that the male member might continue to surprise you. Here are several examples.
18 penis facts you probably didn’t know
#1 Humans are the only mammals who lack a penis bone. Yes, there is such a thing. For those who have just encountered this fact, get this: all other placental mammals possess a penis bone, which assists in prolonged sexual intercourse. As humans evolved, we somehow lost this skeletal feature, since our more advanced *and selective* mating behavior dictates that we won’t need one anymore. Just imagine how long you could last if we still had penis bones.
#2 Despite what they say to make you feel good about yourself, size really does matter. Especially for men themselves, who tend to be conscious about the size of their penis. The global size average falls in the 3-4 inch mark, with extremes falling to North Korea, producing the shortest average penile length measuring a mere 3.8 inches, and the African Republic of Congo, which bags the top penile length average with a whopping 7.1 inches! No surprise, there. Their condoms must be military-grade. [Read: Why are men so obsessed with their penis size?]
When it comes to size…
#3 The world record for the largest natural, unenhanced penis measured 13.5 inches! Yes, and that’s still in its flaccid state. The proud owner of this monstrosity is Jonah Falcon of New York. Apparently, a lot of porn studios offered him starring roles, all of which he declined. We assume he was concerned for his would-be co-star’s well-being.
#4 The penis tells a lot about a guy’s health. This means healthy body equals healthy penis. If you find that you’re having a hard time keeping it up lately, or discover that your stamina is falling short during sexy time, it could be your penis telling you to change your lifestyle. The most immediate cause would be stress produced by lack of sleep, overworking, an inadequate diet, or an unhealthy lifestyle of smoking and drinking. [Read: 20 ways to keep an erection up and hard for longer]
#5 Circumcised guys have a lesser chance of getting HIV. The foreskin contains an abundant number of Langerhans cells, which are easily infected by HIV. Not a reason to be careless.
#6 Circumcised and uncircumcised guys are on par during sex. This means that what you feel during intercourse doesn’t change based on whether you are cut or sheathed.
#7 Shoe size does not reveal the size of your package. Despite the popular saying “You know what they say about guys with big feet,” studies reveal that size 13 feet do not guarantee an equally proportional member.
#8 All penises started as a clitoris. Don’t give me that look. All penises started as a clitoris; while the fetus is developing inside the mother’s womb, the body develops this area as a clitoris, until your Y chromosome triggers the right sex hormones to cause it to develop into a penis.
Speaking of fetuses…
#9 Fetuses can get an erection while still in the womb. Yes, inside a woman’s womb. While pregnant. Fetal erections are, apparently, caused by testosterone surges within a little guy’s body.
And not only fetuses…
#10 Corpses and dying people can also get erections. Yes, you read that right. This occurrence has been recorded in history and is called “angel lust” or “death erection.” Death erection often occurs to people who die from hanging, whether by suicide or as a means of execution. Death erection is caused by the noose applying pressure to the cerebellum, which stimulates the right nerves, and provokes an erection.
#12 No brain stimulus is required for a man to ejaculate. The impulse required for ejaculation comes from the spinal cord, not from the brain.
#13 There are people gifted with two functioning penises. You might have heard or read about that guy from Reddit—and we can tell you that he’s not kidding. There’s a rare condition called Diphallia, where a guy can develop two functioning penises! Talk about lucky?
#14 The fear that was Koro. There exists a culture-specific syndrome that is prevalent in Africa and some parts of the Far East. This syndrome is characterized by an irrational fear that the penis will suddenly disappear or “hide” its way back inside the body.
#15 During ancient times, one job requirement was for you to lose your male parts. Maybe some of you are familiar with Lord Varys in Game of Thrones and his predicament of having lost his…um…”family jewels.” During ancient times, the Chinese and Muslim courts of the east employed hundreds of castrated slaves, called eunuchs, to serve in harems.
Despite their slave status, Eunuchs were highly regarded by their masters and were later appointed into important positions like advisers, scribes, and managers of the king’s household. This trust was based on the fact that they wouldn’t be able to get naughty with the king’s female relatives…since they’re pretty much castrated, anyway. [Read: The truth revealed – What women think of the penis]
#16 The Castrati. Two centuries later, Europe would find its own version of the Eunuch in the form of the Castrati. No, they were not slaves like their counterparts from antiquity. The Castrati were choir boys who opted to lose their manly parts so that they could emulate the high singing notes that only female singers could reach. Why? Because the church wouldn’t allow female singers in choirs back then. Thank goodness for gender equality, eh?
#17 The human penis used to have spines. This is another feature lost to many years of evolution. Penile spines, like those found in domestic cats, serve to stimulate ovulation during withdrawal *after intercourse*, with the secondary role of scraping the semen of previous copulations. We lost this because our species tends to find more permanent mates, and we grew less promiscuous–than cats, that is. And yeah, it did kind of make intercourse painful for females.
#18 The not-so-urban legend of the Candiru. You might want to read this before you speed off on an adventure in the jungles of South America. From what seemed to be a harmless urban legend, a story arose that haunted chain emails and became a real nightmare for men.
There exists a certain species of Catfish known as the Candiru, which inhabits the rivers and streams of the Amazon River. This fish, which measures less than an inch in length, has a notorious little habit of swimming up the urethra of men’s penises and, using their spines, attaching themselves to the penile tissue…then spending their happy little lives feeding off of your blood. From there, they could grow large enough for you to feel them sucking you dry. All we can say is…ouch!
There you have it. Thought you were an expert on penises? We’re willing to bet at least one of these facts took you by surprise. Next time you’re fresh out of juicy small talk, whip out one of these bits of penis facts and trivia…and wow *or horrify* your friends.
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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...