Men are going viral again for all the bizarre reasons (and experiments). They dipped their testicles in food— mostly soya sauce— to determine if they can taste food from anywhere other than the tongue. Yes, you read that right.
If you are wondering why people would even try to taste things through their testes, perhaps a TikTok user’s shared piece of “scientific information” can help you find the answer. The TikToker’s post said that “if a man dips his testis in something, he can taste it”. Following that, the user posted a screenshot of an article, from The Daily Mail, which vouched for his claim.
When people asked for further proof and some scientific backing of this notorious claim, the TikToker very boldly asked them to try the experiment on their own and see if they get a taste or not. As bizarre as it may sound, people hopped to the challenge. Some social media stars say they can taste the salty, umami flavour with their “balls”. Others say they don’t get anything out of it.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
Can Men Actually Taste Through Their Testicles?
Obviously, men CANNOT taste through their testicles. This claim is utterly false and baseless. A study published in Molecular Human Reproduction found that male testicles do not have any taste receptors. While taste receptors can be found in the human digestive system, respiratory system, brain and sperm cells, these receptors do not ascertain tasting powers of any sort.
Taste receptors are not the same thing as taste buds. As clearly as we can put it forth, your testicles can taste absolutely nothing.
Testicles, Soy Sauce & Taste — A Trifecta
Research reveals that two protein receptors called T1R and T2R can identify specific tastes— sour, bitter, and umami (the flavour found in soya sauce)— that can be recognised in cells throughout the body. These exceptional taste receptors are located in the respiratory system, bladder, pancreas, brain, liver, and, indeed, in the testicles.
Studies assert that these taste receptors are essential to fertility. This was found after scientists blocked the receptors in mice that later made them infertile.
Do Testicles Even Have Taste Buds?
There is a complicated little distinction between “taste receptors” in the tongue and those in the testicle. The tongue reacts to tastes and determines if food is ‘edible’ by sending signals to the brain. On the other hand, testes respond to tastes as ‘chemical’ substances to decide whether to produce more or less sperm and testosterone.
The receptors inside the testes react to sweet and savoury flavours like umami, which are essential for identifying and compounding proteins in sperm development.
Tongue and Testes Taste Receptors- Whole Different Ballgame
Taste buds located in the mouth and upper oesophagus are groups of sensory cells with hair-like projections and hundreds of taste receptors. The receptors transmit signals through the nerves to the brain, and the brain converts signals into flavours. Without the brain, you can’t taste sweet, bitter, sour, or umami flavours.
So, while the testicles do have taste receptors, they do not contribute to taste because they are not connected to the brain. Besides, as experts discovered, the taste receptors are within the testicles without any direct link to the brain and serve no savoury purpose.
Now, a natural question arises-
Why Did People On Social Media Claim to Have Tasted Something?
When people hopped on to this bizarre challenge, they did so with some pretty unrealistic expectations. While some said that they got a salty or umami flavour, others did not taste a thing.
Now, for those who felt the taste- it was nothing but just their heightened senses due to their dipped testicles in food. Moreover, it could have been just the smell of the food product that would have tricked a person into thinking that they can taste something in their mouths.
It goes on to show that even baseless claims such as tasting through testicles can gain immense traction with a mere social media post getting viral. Anyway, since you’re reading it here, do not become part of these sheepish non-scientific claims on social media, and steer away from dipping your privates in food, please.