Well, it’s not Jesus, but it’ll do

October 31, 2011 • 11:49 am

From The Chronicle of Higher Education via Matthew Cobb, “The face of testicular pain.” It’s from an article in a medical journal, which you can access by clicking on the link in bold text below.

When the image of Jesus appears on a Wal-Mart receipt or the Virgin Mary shows up on a slice of toast, the secular world howls with derision at the faithful who line up to witness these Rorschach “miracles.”

But when the scrotal ultrasound of a 45-year-old patient with severe testicular pain and a possible mass revealed the surprising image of a man in distress, urologists at Queen’s University, in Ontario, followed proper scholarly procedure: They submitted it to Urology, the official journal of the International Society of Urology.

“The residents and staff alike were amazed to see the outline of a man’s face staring up out of the image, his mouth agape as if the face seen on the ultrasound scan itself was also experiencing severe epididymo-orchitis,” wrote the authors, G. Gregory Roberts and Naji J. Touma, in an article that appeared in the journal’s September issue. “A brief debate ensued on whether the image could have been a sign from a deity (perhaps ‘Min,’ the Egyptian god of male virility); however, the consensus deemed it a mere coincidental occurrence rather than a divine proclamation.”

The patient underwent an orchiectomy, or testicular removal, and the mass proved benign, but evidently not divine.

52 thoughts on “Well, it’s not Jesus, but it’ll do

  1. No longer omnipotent either!

    JK, I’m glad the fellow is all right now. To quote Dan Dennett, “Thank goodness.”

  2. lol. It’s the homunculus!

    So does this mean that the testicles of that Man in the testicle should also have a Man in it that also is in pain and that Man should also have testicles which would contain a Man in pain…etc…etc….etc?


    1. We need to devote Templeton prize money to study this phenomenon of whether or not all the subsequent homunculi will all be in pain or whether or not there is an alternating pattern.

      1. The null hypothesis is that the testis feels pain when the person does.

        The fact that it shows pain by painting the face of person in pain is a divine miracle that has to be accepted as it is.

        I think it is provable, not to mention opening a gate of testis probing for parties interested.

  3. I can hear all christians go: “That’s obviously Satan/a demon.”

    You’ll never one-up the truly ignorant! They’ll find something new not to know anything about!

  4. Actually if you take another peek you can convince yourself there are *two* faces in the image: one on the right, looking left in profile, which is superimposed on the other in the background.

    No more ‘real’ than the single face of course.

  5. Were the faithful lining up to pay homage to his scrotum before the removal? Would have been a good way to raise funds for the necessary medical procedure.

  6. I was looking at my erect penis in the mirror the other day and I was amazed. There was the image of St Peter as plain as life.I’m considering contacting the local Fox News station to see if they would be interested.

  7. The little bubbles after peeing, in the bowl I’m a seeing.
    They took the form of a cross, to explain it I’m at a loss.
    A message from God it must be, some bubbles broke, it’s now a T.
    I often find inspiration, during the time of micturation.
    I do pray that I’ll pee some more, in the bowl not on the floor.

  8. Hey, how about a warning — something along the lines of “not safe for work” or “spoiler alert” — when a post contains “testicular removal” or the like? There’s not much that can put me off a science topic, but that will do it.

  9. To my pattern-recognizing mind, it looks like something you’d find as one of the figures one would find carved on a French cathedral from the 13th or 14th Century.

    But I’ve been re-reading books by the late (and greatly lamented) Barbara Tuchman lately, and checking out things like that.

  10. Seeing this image, and reading the story with its half-happy ending (aren’t we glad the patient didn’t go off half-cocked?), one can only conclude:

    Jesus shaves. (hic)

  11. I have read all the comments and feel all extremists are gathered here. Please don’t use every reference against religion.If there is an abnormality there must be some scientific reason behind it or it may be made up to get a minute of fame.

    1. Usually, when these images turn up, the religious fall over themselves to claim they are the likeness of some biblical character. I think the commentators here are just pointing out that it is a load of balls.

  12. In medical school I discovered what I still consider to be the only real evidence that god may exist – a cross-section of a human penis looks like a smiley face:)

  13. That’s why I call mine “my boys.”
    Seriously, I’m not sure this is a case of “pattern recognition,” at least not in the sense that no facial pattern exists. That actually looks like a man’s face, and I suspect any member of another intelligent species would agree.
    I’d like to see if digital facial recognition software would view this as a face.

    1. But it’s not a face. The paper presumably would have mentioned it if the testicle actually had a face (two eyes, a nose and a mouth). A person or software might recognize a face, but that just means they are being fooled too.

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