Did a German tourist named Helmut Grolsch lose his wedding tackle after inserting it in a flesh-eating sea snail during a vacation in Phuket, Thailand? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian website specializing in invented tales about bizarre crimes and weird sex acts, purely for entertainment purposes. It did not happen for real.
The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on August 7, 2018 titled "Thailand: German tourist emasculated after putting his penis inside giant "flesh-eating" snail" (archived here) which opened:
Phuket | A German tourist is lying in critical condition at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after his genitals were mutilated from contact with a large-sized cone snail.
Helmut Grolsch, 46, allegedly attempted to insert his genitals inside the shell of what doctors believe to be a cone snail, a large-sized extremely venomous predatory sea snail very common in the region.
Grolsch apparently inserted his genitals inside the shell not knowing that cone snails can deliver a lethal dose of venom which is powerful enough to kill humans and can provoke symptoms such as paralysis, extreme pain and dizziness.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and some of they may have confused it for a real news article:
Phuket | A German tourist is lying in critical condition at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after his genitals were mutilated from contact with a large-sized cone snail. Helmut Grolsch, 46, allegedly attempted to insert his genitals inside the shell of what doctors believe to be a cone snail, a large-sized
The photo used to illustrate the article does seem to show an actual German tourist, but he fell from his hotel window accordig to this local news report:
Գերմանացի 53-ամյա մի զբոսաշրջիկ Փաթթայայում գործող հյուրանոցի 9-րդ հարկից վայր է ընկել ու հրաշքով ողջ մնացել, գրում է Phuket Gazette թերթը։Տղամարդն այնքան հաջողակ է եղել, որ ընդամենը ձեռքն է կ
A 53-year-old German tourist has fallen from the 9th floor of the hotel in Pattaya and survives wonderfully, writes Phuket Gazette. The man was so lucky that he just broke his hand. The speed of his "landing" broke down the roof of the café adjacent to the hotel, and the man did not come across asphalt at great speed.
The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:
World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.
It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.
Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.
We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: British Man NOT Suffering From Rare Medical Condition, Does NOT Defecate Through His Mouth
- Fake News: Woman Did NOT Choke To Death After Fiance Hides Ring In Cake To Propose
- Fake News: Vegan Lion Tamer NOT Arrested For Feeding His Animals Only Carrots
- Fake News: Boston Pastor NOT Accused Of Coating Hosts With Cocaine, Crystal Meth Before Service
- Fake News: Reality Show Contestants NOT Rescued After 5 Years On A Deserted Island