Koro means "head of the turtle" in Malay and while that name starts off cute, it gets progressively grosser the more you understand the disorder. You see, koro is also known as genital retraction syndrome.
The poor souls influenced by this mental disorder are under the illusion that their once proud--nay, arrogant!--manhood is now not only shrinking, but actually retracting into their bodies. It is at this point that we would like to remind you once again what koro means: head of the turtle. Yeah, gross.
Do you get it yet?
But it's not a joke; sufferers actually believe that the process is fatal. Just think about that for a second: they think their dicks are shrinking so fucking hard that it is literally going to kill them. We just don't even have words to describe the magnitude of that kind of nightmare.
But what is already a full-blown dongtastrophe (wait, we do have a word) actually gets worse. Many times this penis reduction insanity ended in what are known as "Penis Panics." That's right: it's apparently contagious! Outbreaks of koro in China were reported in 1948, 1955, 1966, 1974 and 1984.
No one knows the exact reason, but there are variations of the whole "vanishing penis" thing elsewhere. You may have heard of the infamous penis thieves in the Congo, where supposed sorcerers are lynched after being accused of magically making men's penises vanish or shrink.
"Wait, you think I stole what? Oh, no, that's- I am in no way that kind of wizard..."
And think about all of those completely useless "herbal penis enlargement" supplements they sell in the U.S. and elsewhere. Those products make big money on repeat business; men who take a pill, look at their dong and perceive it's bigger, no matter what the stupid measuring tape says. So it looks like when it comes to your junk, perception is everything. Skewed perceptions can make a person crazy, and once a person is crazy, others are ready to go crazy with him. It's just that much worse when dicks are involved.
Traditional African healers believe that amafufunyana is a kind of spirit possession brought about by witchcraft, and is responsible for driving countless youths mad as well as exploding spellcheckers everywhere.
The perceived method for this bewitchment is weird on its own: it's accomplished by pounding ants that have been feeding from a grave into a poisonous paste that the victim must ingest. But the outcome is even weirder: once they've ingested the grave-ant pudding, the victim begins to hear voices... coming from their own stomach.
Often these voices actually speak a different language from the victim. Xhosa speakers in the Eastern Cape, for example, have reported hearing voices speak Zulu, and vice versa.
And the stomach voices don't just want to talk about the weather or last night's episode of Lost. No, they get very aggressive and begin issuing orders. They've been known to threaten seizures, demand tributes, request acts of violence and, if that's not crazy enough, there have even been a few situations where a case of the stomach-dickheads went viral: at a junior high school in Africa, one outbreak of amafufunyana had over 400 children reporting swollen stomachs and bizarre behavior.
The children ran out of control, rolling their eyes, babbling and striking out uncontrollably at anything around them. One teacher later reported that, upon squeezing the children's stomachs, she could clearly hear the Zulu voices claiming to possess said children.
We're going to go out on a limb and suggest that the auditory hallucinations have something to do with eating huge portions of poison ants. As for the schoolchildren all joining in on the act, that sounds like good old-fashioned mass hysteria, since among humans, crazy is more contagious than any disease.
Also, at this point we're starting to think there's a hidden part of the human brain that just wants an excuse to fuck shit up and blame it on ghosts.
You can read more from Eduardo at www.monoscristianos.wordpress.com
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For more instances of crazy being contagious, check out The 6 Most Insane Moral Panics in American History and 5 Corporate Promotions That Ended in (Predictable) Disaster.
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