Field of Science

TMI Friday: Eat your Vegetables


There are a number of odd things that people do in pursuit of a sexual high, but today's story may just be the most bizarre event I've written about for TMI Friday.
It was a peaceful afternoon, when a middle aged couple heard a frantic tapping, a frantic rapping at their door. It was their neighbour, and he was in quite a lot of trouble. He was a 29 year old man, of normal build, dressed only in trousers with the waist button unfastened and desperately attempting to talk before dropping dead in front of them.
What happened to him, and why did he die ?
Perhaps an autopsy could answer these questions.
Removal of the trousers showed the penis to be semi-erect; around the base of the penis was a rubber band. On the lower abdomen and in the groin was dried, white coloured material, subsequently identified as semen.
 Okay, so now we can draw a few conclusions as to what the young man was doing before he showed up at his neighbours door. It rhymes with "Rasta-Dating". But that still doesn't explain what killed him.

However, when they opened up his throat cavity, the revealed it. The man had inhaled a whole zucchini, and suffocated as a result. His cries for help were stymied because the zucchini had blocked his airways.
Further enquiry revealed that the deceased had been married for 2 yrs at the time of his death. He was casually employed but, unlike his wife, was not working on that day. The couple grew zucchinis in their backyard garden.

Cooke C.T., Cadden G.A. & Margolius K.A. (1994). Autoerotic Deaths: Four cases, Pathology, 26 (3) 276-280. DOI:

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