Social media channels across the Asia-Pacific region have gone into meltdown as reports emerged that a 70 year old Canberra man had to have a dining fork removed from his penis.
The story has swiftly gone viral, relegating coverage of the forthcoming Australian federal election into second place.
Author and satirist Kathy Lette joined mainstream channels in circulating news of the man’s predicament.
“I'm not saying the election hasn't seized Oz public imagination, but today's main news headline is AUSTRALIAN MAN INSERTS FORK INTO HIS PENIS,” she tweeted to over 21,000 followers.
I'm not saying the election hasn't seized Oz public imagination, but 2day's main news headline is AUSTRALIAN MAN INSERTS FORK INTO HIS PENIS
— Kathy Lette (@KathyLette) August 19, 2013
Mainstream news outlets swiftly circulated the image alongside graphic content warnings, and in some cases, blocking out the central component of the image.
OK, strangest news story of the day: "Fork stuck in man's penis after bizarre sexual mishap": http://t.co/NbYHrkTwwM
— Victor Harbor Times (@VictorTimes) August 19, 2013
— FairfaxSA (@FairfaxSA) August 19, 2013
What the fork? No surprises this Australian X-Ray image has gone viral... CONTENT WARNING! http://t.co/W0aZsjnbnH
— Triple M Melbourne (@TripleMMelb) August 19, 2013
The 10-centimetre had been voluntarily inserted into the gentleman’s member, until it was not visible to attending surgeons. Details emerged after the incident was featured in The International Journal of Surgery, due to the unusual nature of the incident.
The Journal reported that the fork was retrieved via forceps and "copious lubrication" while the patient was under a general anaesthetic.
The paper narrating the incident was entitled "An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body".
The medical team – Krishanth Naidu, Maurice Mulcahy and Amanda Chung – published the case : "given the great management challenge faced by the oddity and infrequency with which a fork is encountered in the penile urethra".
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) August 19, 2013