Well, it’s not Jesus, but it’ll do

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.


  1. Posted October 31, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Ah, social monkeys… seeing faces everywhere!

  2. daveau
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one cringing in my seat right now?

    • vall
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      No. Scary movies don’t do it for me anymore, but this is horror.

      A good Haloween post.

    • Chris Booth
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      If you’re cringing in your seat, you’re off a taint….

  3. Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    The human brain is a truly wonderful pattern recogniser.


  4. phaenarete0042
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    No longer omnipotent either!

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

    • Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      He’s all right now? that’s a point of view I spose… 🙂

  5. dunstar
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    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?


    • dunstar
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • PB
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink

        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.

      • ManOutOfTime
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Balls to that!

  6. Muffit
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    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!

  7. Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I see them both. I just have to squint a bit and the second one pops right out.

  8. Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s either a testicular mass, Jesus, a ghost, or an alien, depending on the interest of the observer. You see this crap toted out as evidence of the paranormal complete with psychic interpretations all the time.

    • Claimthehighground
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Clearly one of the Easter Island chaps.

  9. mordacious1
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    To me it looks like Yuri Gagarin, but I supposes it could also be the pope celebrating a benign mass.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      It DOES look like that pic! I kinda wondered if the patient’s name might be Munch.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


  10. Tulse
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    As is often the case, Mitchell and Webb have a take on this.

  11. Egbert
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Do faces exist?

    Pause for thought.

  12. Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    This really doesn’t say much for the human face (or God, if he “created man in his own image”)

    • Notagod
      Posted October 31, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Except that humans create the gods.

      IT looks like Christ after It hit the asteroid on Its last trip home.

  13. frank sellout
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Who cares about the face in the ultra sound, the man just lost his balls!

  14. Keith
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    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.

  15. Jonathan Smith
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    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.

  16. Sean Boyd
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    If only removing the tumor that is Christianity were as easy as a quick snip-snip.

  17. Joanna
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    So… religion is a cancer?

  18. Dr. I. Needtob Athe
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    In The Demon Haunted World, in reference to the perceived face on Mars, Carl Sagan wrote about our instinctive tendency to see faces:


  19. Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    it’s Basket Case!

  20. Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    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.

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    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.

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  23. Rudi
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Bloody hell, that didn’t half make me shudder.

  24. Geoff Egan
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    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.

  25. Scot
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Greeaaaaat. JUST what I needed to see five weeks after my vasectomy.

  26. Chris Booth
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    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)

  27. Posted October 31, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see the virgin mary, to me it looks like Amanda Tapping.

  28. Dominic
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink




  29. Posted November 1, 2011 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    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.

    • Don Jesús
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      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.

  30. randyextry
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    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:)

  31. Posted November 1, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    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.

    • horrabin
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      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.

  32. Dan
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Holy crap, it’s the OMG RAGE FACE meme:


  33. Rumtopf
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Aw, I want to see the extracted mass :c

  34. Philbert
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Jesus just shaved?

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] don’t know what to say about this, so I’ll just pass it along without comment. Posted by Malcolm on at 9:06 pm, filed under […]

  2. […] Well, it’s not Jesus, but it’ll do (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] entire universe for this.alis.me 19th November, 2011 @ 1:06 amImage posted 2 mins ago. Image: Well, it’s not Jesus, but it’ll do « Why Evolution Is True.Image from an ultrasound of a man with testicular cancer. Of his testicle. No, really.CANNOT. […]

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