By Taylor Hill
Tiger populations are up in India, and that’s troubling news for late-night TV sidekick Andy Richter.
On Thursday night, Conan O’Brien’s cohost revealed the “real” reason for the big cat’s rising numbers: Tigers are busy snorting a controversial aphrodisiac made of “powdered human penises” that’s increasing their sex drive.
“They’re mating more often and with more potency,” Richter warned, turning the world’s real wildlife poaching epidemic on its head. The humans became the hunted and mutilated, with “tiger poachers” illegally shooting and killing men to harvest their penises.
Yes, it was a joke. But the funny shone a light on a weird bit of human sexual mythology: the belief that dried tiger genitals can increase libido.
China, one of the main consumers of illegal tiger products, recently banned ingesting or purchasing the body parts of endangered animals.
But demand continues to drive rampant poaching of tigers.
“Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—is traded in illegal wildlife markets,” according to the World Wildlife Fund. “In relentless demand, their parts are used for traditional medicine, folk remedies, and increasingly as a status symbol among some Asian cultures.” Video.