Disagreeable bath buddies. Image: Cheetah100/Flickr/CC BY

Certain eels have long been considered an aphrodisiac in some parts of Asia. But for one Chinese man, a recent encounter with an eel did nothing for his virility, in spite of the fact that the narrow fish swam right for his reproductive area. In fact, it sent him to the emergency room.

Bathing with eels

Zhang Nan, 56, of Hubei province, central China, was bathing in a tub teeming with live eels when one of the slippery little devils slipped into his urethra.

‘I felt a severe pain’

“I climbed into the bath and I could feel the eels nibbling my body. But then suddenly I felt a severe pain and realized 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 disappeared.” Zhang said to reporters from the British newspaper Metro.

The eel swam all the way up Zhang’s urethra and landed in his bladder.

A treatment for aging skin

In China, this type of eel bath is said to make skin look younger. The eels are supposed to devour all the little particles of dead skin. But this time the procedure went horribly wrong and may well have turned into every man’s worst nightmare.

Eel dead when removed

Zhang was rushed to the hospital where the eel was surgically removed in a procedure that took about three hours. The offending fish was dead by the time it was removed. It was about half an inch wide and 5.9 inches long.

Eel’s body ‘worked as a lubricant’

Dr. Jin Wang, who performed the extraction, said “the diameter of the urethra in a man’s genitals is just a little narrower (than the eel), but because eels are quite slippery, its body worked as a lubricant so it got into the penis smoothly.”


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