A Little Bit About Large Penises - Biology Week

By Anna Swann-Pye

Bull penis cut into pieces to be a dog treat. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When fossil hunters found the 12,000 year old 4 1/2 foot long specimen in the ground, they assumed it was a mammoth tusk. Imagine their surprise, then, when it turned out to be a walrus penis instead. This prehistoric phallus was bought by Ripley’s for a whopping $9,600. When asked why they decided to shell out that kind of dough for the oddity, Ripley’s vice president gave a pretty straightforward answer. Essentially, it was really big. I guess when it comes to the slightly perverse human fascination with animal members, size really matters.

And on that note, let’s keep talking about the giant penises of the animal kingdom, shall we?

The blue whale is huge, so I guess it’s no wonder its penis is also huge — between 8 and 10 feet. I don’t think I need to make any analogies for you to understand that that is a massive phallus. What is perhaps a more interesting fact, though, is that in relation to the rest of his body, the blue whale has a pretty modest man part. 1:10 in penis-to-body-length ratio. This makes the whale, in human terms, pretty averagely endowed. Just a humble 9 foot man-part.

The colymbosathon ecplecticos, on the other hand, does have something to brag about. This ancient creature had a penis ratio of 1:5. Its phallus was such a notable thing, in fact, that it was named after it. The name colymbosathon ecplecticos means “amazing swimmer with a large penis” in Greek. Apparently this  giant a m member is not sustainable, though. The colymbosathon ecplecticos is long extinct.

What sort of similarities can you find between the greater hooked squid and the banana slug? If you said that they both have penises the size of their bodies, you’d be right. The size of a banana slug’s penis is, on average, a whopping 8 inches long. That is absolutely insane. Can you imagine lugging that thing around with you all day? Apparently, though, the size is not the only inconvenience in the sex life of a slug.

Still not impressed? What if I told you there was an animal out there with a penis 40 times larger than the size of its body? If this penis were on a human that would make it 240 feet long. If it were on a blue whale it would be 4,000 feet long. This penis is not 4,000 feet long, though, or even 240 feet, as it is on a barnacle. Even so, that is a pretty impressive part. I suppose you might need a pretty long phallus if you’re attached to a rock. What’s more impressive, though, is that its not the only reproductive organ these little dudes possess. Barnacles are hermaphrodites and have both male and female genitalia. Pretty groovy.

Barnacles, ew! Photo courtesy of Greg Dunlap.

Now, maybe you thought you wanted to hear about all of this giant member stuff, but all of a sudden you’re feeling a little self conscious. Maybe you’re worried that your girlfriend might find a banana slug that can pleasure her in a way that you never could. But don’t  get down on yourself. Man is the primate with the largest penis. Even the gorilla, which dwarfs humans in size, has a phallus that doesn’t compare. So you’re not a blue whale, nor are you a barnacle (and I would suggest that there are other reasons you should feel good about that), but if you’re a human dude, you really don’t have much to complain about.

However, if you’re a whale and you’re reading this … congratulations.