Super-sized testicles no man could wish for

Jumbo testicles are found in the tropics.

Published December 23, 1999 5:00PM (EST)

Dec. 23, 1999

Drooping, low-slung testicles are considered sexy by some erotic aficionados, while others prefer the aesthetics of a puffy, engorged pair of sacs. Beware, though! Although big balls sometimes suggest churning testosterone, if the pouch is too prodigious, it might spell a case of the horrifying tropical disease, elephantiasis.

The pachyderm-titled ailment can swell scrotums to stupendous, ungainly dimensions. The heftiest case of swollen nuts on record, according to, is a 154-pound African specimen that measures almost 2 feet in diameter, but archived photos of other afflicted crotches suggest that a number of other ball sacs have bloated to this size.

Male sex glands stricken with elephantiasis may look like they're pumped up with gallons of proliferating semen but the truth is far less glamorous. Parasitic filiarial worms infest the lymph system, which fills the afflicted cavities with watery fluid. Mosquito bites transmit the disease; legs, arms and non-testicular organs can also be enlarged by the monstrous malady.

Lest you think this is but one of nature's rare and freakishly cruel jokes, the truth is that elephantiasis is tragically prevalent. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 120 million people are cursed with elephantiasis in various body parts. Over 1 billion people in 73 susceptible countries inhabit vulnerable areas: one-third in Africa, one-third in India and the rest in Latin America, the Pacific and additional regions of Asia.

Will people always be plagued by this frighteningly obscene disease? Experts say there's hope. International pharmaceutical companies like Smithkline Beecham have joined with WHO to eradicate this scrotal scourge by the year 2020. The drugs abendazole, diethylcarbamazine and ivermectin effectively destroy the perfidious parasite.

So men, if you return from tropical zones with your testicles rapidly expanding, don't brag about your growing manliness, just rush to the nearest clinic. Slightly larger sacs might appeal to your lover, but waddling bowlegged with Great Pumpkin gonads is not only grotesque but painfully unsexy. Elephantiasis sufferers generally lose their sexual capacity because the once-penetrating penis is eventually engulfed by the swollen tissue.

By Hank Hyena

Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.

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