National Geographic, the company that has exposed the world through thoughtful writing and artful photography to exotic and unknown tribes, giant squids, and the walking Maoi statues of Easter Island have once again outdone themselves.
They’ve found the world’s strangest penis.
Lucy Cooke, the host of Freaks and Creeps, visited the forests of Tasmania in search of this rare and slightly frightening prize. She describes the island as a “time machine” with “primeval forests” that “team with living fossils”.
There, she found the echidna, which is a monotreme. That’s the strange rare branch of mammals that lay eggs like reptiles that includes the platypus. The echidna, a small hedgehog-like creature with spiky fur and long claws, looks just as weird as its duck-billed cousin.
Adding to the echnida’s weirdness is its four-headed penis, which looks like a normal penis, except at the end where it branches off in to four little nozzle’s. The evolutionary use for such a feature, beyond a shotgun multi-stream advantage in the unlikely event of a pee fight in the forest, is not clear.
The episode of Freaks and Creeps starring the echnida’s bizarre genitalia will air on Tuesday, 7/17 at 10pm on Nat Geo WILD.
Here’s a little teaser–and yes, it shows the penis.