lt started innocently enough. Late last week, TikTok user cryinginthecar logged onto the popular video app and shared an eyebrow-raising scientific finding with her followers.
“Did y’all know that if a dude puts his balls in something, he can taste it? He can taste it!” she asked, showing a screenshot of a 2013 Daily Mail article that seemingly proved as much.
“If you have testicles please dip your balls in something, it’s for science and I must know,” said cryinginthecar, whose name is actually Regan.
Naturally, guys on TikTok, an app embraced by the Gen Z set, were up for the challenge.
Alx James ― who has more than 1 million followers on the app ― was one of the first people to claim they’d given their testicles the soy sauce treatment. Appearing to do a quick dab while parked in his car, James claimed that he had indeed tasted something.
“Stop. Hold on now, oh my God, I can taste the salt!” James shouted. “That’s ridiculous.”
Hold on now indeed. While the soy sauce challenge has plenty of guys claiming they’ve “tasted” something, testicles do not have taste buds. Sorry, everyone. (However, big congrats to Kikkoman and other soy sauce producers! This could be a boon for their sales.)
The actual study, which was published in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction in 2013, found that male testes do indeed have taste receptors. These receptors can also be found in the “digestive system, respiratory system, brain and spermatozoa.”
But taste receptors aren’t the same thing as taste buds. In other words, your testicles can’t taste a damn thing, said Emma Beckett, a food and nutrition scientist who works at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
“I’ve weighed in on all kinds of fad diets and I’ve been asked lots of very interesting questions about my research and food in general, but it never crossed my mind that one day, I would have to explain to people that taste is not a reason to dip your...