People On TikTok Are Coating Their Testicles In Soy Sauce In Bizarre Viral Trend
So there's a new trend on TikTok that sees blokes grab some soy sauce and rub it on their testicles. Why? Er, to see if they can taste it, of course.
According to BuzzFeed, the strange craze all began with when someone found an article about a 2013 study, which claimed that testicles not only have taste buds, but that they can also detect flavours.
People then decided they'd put this theory to the test, and the intensely salty, soy-based condiment was apparently just the thing to prove it.
A TikTok user called Alx James - who has more than 954,000 followers and 10.5 million likes - was one such brave soul to give it a go, insisting in his video that he could, indeed, 'taste the salt'.
Another guy called Matthew Lush, who has 91,000 followers and nearly 870,000 likes, also tried it out.
"I don't know if I'm just imagining this," he began, laughing in disbelief.
"I don't know if I can smell it or taste it - wait, what the f***!?"
BuzzFeed writer Daniella Emanuel decided to delve into the truth, reaching out to Dr. Kirten Parekh, a 31-year-old foot and ankle surgeon based in New Jersey.
Parekh told the outlet: "Research shows that there are taste bud receptors all over the body and it's speculated to be for fertility.
"Just because you have taste buds in that area doesn't mean you can physically taste those flavors. Your body might receive it, but you won't have a perceptive taste of sweet, sour, or whatever flavor."
The 2013 study that inspired 2020's strangest viral trend came from researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
They explained that, while we knew taste receptors were found all over the body, we didn't really know what they were for.
Study researcher BedrichMosinger, told Business Insider: "[The] function of taste receptors and signaling proteins outside of taste system is still unclear... [in some areas] they seem to be part of the chemical sensing of sugars or amino acids.
"For the most part, though, full function of these extra-orally located taste receptors is unknown."
But the new research found that these taste proteins for sweet and umami (that's the amino acid taste found in soy sauce) not only exist in the testicles, but that they also played a big role in the fertility of mice - as scientists realised that mice were unable to reproduce if they were missing the taste receptors.
"Like much good science, our current findings pose more questions than answers," said Another researcher, Robert Margolskee, said in a statement: "Like much good science, our current findings pose more questions than answers.
"We now need to identify the pathways and mechanisms in testes that utilise these taste genes so we can understand how their loss leads to infertility."
The team also said the findings could pave the way for new cures for infertility - or even a male birth control pill.
Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@alxjames