Human anteaters beware!

Man crashes car after homemade insect-based Viagra ruins date.

Published July 10, 2001 7:20PM (EDT)

The injuries sustained Thursday by the 23-year-old from Mirabello, Italy, didn't come from falling asleep at the wheel and crashing his car. He left the wreck unscathed and went home to sleep an additional 48 hours; what will hurt is the subtler damage that comes from grinding up ants and eating them as a homemade Viagra, only to have the world read about it later.

To his credit, the potion worked at first. According to Italia Online, the man's libido improved immediately after ingesting his ant-based creation. But soon his stomach was irritated and he found himself extremely drowsy. It was shortly thereafter, on the way home from a date, that he dozed off and swerved.

Homemade Viagra recipes are available all over the Internet, an understandable response to the drug's high price. In recent years, physicians in the United States have warned amateur chemists to be more careful with their natural aphrodisiacs. In fact, people have been eating weird things in the name of sex for centuries. According to Frank Browning and Sharon Silva's book "An Apple Harvest," it's always been a dicey proposition:

"Pharmacists in ancient Persia offered the following as an aphrodisiac for women: nine apple seeds ground together with whiskers from a man who had been brutally killed, a few grains of barley retrieved from a grave, the blood of a worm, of a black dog and of the second finger of the left hand, mixed with semen and stirred into a glass of wine."

It's unclear whether or not the Mirabello man will attempt to refine his product. Also unclear is how the date went, why he was driving home unaccompanied and what kind of childhood leads a man, years later, to grind and eat ants.

By Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of "Blindsight," published by the Atavist.

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