Strange Questions: Do you have a Possum Penis?
Everyday the phone rings and I hear: “This is going to sound like a strange question, but…”
I answer the question, which may range from advice on making bloody explosions to medieval torture equipment to making the best fake spider webs to what happens to what part of the body after death or why you shouldn’t sell black market human remains, you know, morbid industry tech support.
I recently decided I should start publishing these question and answer sessions. And feel free to email me with more questions, my email is email@example.com .
So todays question: “Do you have a possum’s penis replica?”
Why would anyone want one, you might ask, well there’s an old American tradition that raccoon and opossum penis bones – called Baculum, should be worn around the neck for good luck. The tradition can still be found in some parts of the south, amongst carnies, and certain trucker traditions. It was referenced in the book “The Heart is Deceitful above all things”
A replica Baculum was wanted because this was for a production and the actors were a bit squeamish over handling something like that. Well, it turns out the anchovy shaped Opossum baculum replica eluded me, but I found a good scientific supply house the carries an amazing array of baculum, from ferrets to foxes to bears and seals, and yes, even the lucky raccoon. Dapper Cadaver can now special order bacula of nearly any North Amercan mammal for $10-$40 each.
The longest baculum in North America belongs to te Walrus, measuring an average of 2 ft, with the record being at nearly 5 ft. Think about that for a second, and shudder. Walrus baculum, called Oosiks by the inuit, are of great ceremonial importance.
All the great apes except humans have a baculum. The zoologist Richard Dawkins speculated in 2006, that the loss of the bone in humans, is probably a result of sexual selection by females looking for signs of good health in prospective mates. The reliance of the human penis solely on hydraulic means to achieve a rigid state makes it particularly vulnerable to blood pressure variation. Poor erectile function betrays not only physical states such as diabetes and neurological disorders but mental states such as stress and depression.