Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead - Robert Brockway (2010)

CURRENT THREATS

Chapter 4. STERILITY

THERE’S A DISTURBING trend already under way: The total sperm count of all males on the planet has dropped by half in just under fifty years. If it keeps up at this pace, another fifty years’ time may very well see the last human beings born on Earth. It’s certainly not the worst apocalypse imaginable; in fact, it’s one of the better ones. Sure, there will be the inevitable last-minute, panicked attempt at self-correction as we try to save the species—just like with any other apocalyptic scenario, except that in this case, instead of erecting bunkers to shield us from a nuclear tornado or collecting shotgun shells before the zombie invasion, we’ll just try to bone one another hard, fast, and as many times as possible. But it’s still the end.

Most evidence of this reduced sperm count comes from citizens of industrialized Western nations, leading many to believe that technology—while inarguably awesome—is nevertheless out to neuter you. Conversely, shitting in a ditch is apparently excellent for fertility. We were first made fully aware of this worrying trend by a Dutch scientist named Niels Skakkebaek, when he conducted a worldwide poll of sperm levels in 1992. Ol’ Dirty Skakkeback, as his friends probably called him, went on a veritable world tour of semen, and when he was done—sticky, exhausted, and no doubt walking funny—he found that sperm counts had not only dropped significantly (by the aforementioned half at some estimates), but that even semen with average sperm counts contained a much higher number of deformed sperm than in the past.

This conclusion was soon echoed by other scientists all across the world; scientists like Jarkko Pajarinen, a professor from Helsinki, who conducted a study comparing the testicular tissue of five hundred men from 1981 against men from 1991. He found that the normal sperm production in men from 1981 contained about 56 percent healthy sperm. But by 1991, it had dropped to a little over 26 percent.

Ten years!

Only ten years’ difference and the effectiveness of our Littlest Gentlemen had dropped by half! If our collective balls were a company, they’d be filing for bankruptcy. Oh, and one more slightly less frightening, but still embarrassing factoid: Professor Pajarinen also found that the overall weight of the testes had decreased as well. So, long story short, the average modern man has the smallest recorded balls in history. Your verbally abusive stepfather was right! You are half the man he is!

But if we’re all going infertile, as this data seems to indicate, why does it seem like the planet is becoming ever more crowded with assholes? It’s like all the stupidity in the universe collected on the surface of the Earth as retarded condensation. It’s true, overpopulation is a problem, but if this fertility trend persists at the current rate, we’re dangerously close to being completely sterile as a species. A sperm count of less than 20 million per milliliter is the technical definition of infertile, and at the current rate of progression, that’s going to be the average within our lifetimes.

Other Scientific Theories Coined by Your Verbally Abusive Stepfather

·        The “Coors Light Makes Your Mom Look Pretty” Hypothesis

·        The “Only Faggots Listen to Rap” Theorem

·        The “Your Real Dad Was a Pussy and That’s Why Your Momma Found Me, Son” Principle

A 2009 study released by scientists from Brunel, Exeter, and Reading universities in England, in conjunction with the Center for Ecology and Hydrology, states that they may have found at least part of the reason for all those blanks loaded into our collective man-clip: water pollution.

Their study found an unusually high amount of chemicals called anti-androgens in the water supplies tested. Much like holding a purse outside of a dressing room, anti-androgens inhibit your manhood by blocking testosterone receptors, thus lowering fertility rates in males. It’s unknown exactly why these chemicals are found in such high volumes in industrialized Western nations in particular, but the working theory is that chemicals from the massive consumer use of pharmaceuticals are starting to enter the water supply through our waste. In other words, prescription meds are being passed en masse into the water supply through urination.

Jokes Terrible Stand-Up Comedians Would Tell About “Feminized” Fish

·        “Yeah! Apparently, it seems they found this information when all the fish started crashing their cars!”

·        “What do you call a Zebra Fish with two black eyes? Nothin’! You already told it twice.”

·        “Have you heard about this? Male fish turning female? They call ’em TransvesTilapia.”

You’re literally peeing infertility.

You can see some proof of this happening already by observing the fish living in the water in the most affected areas. They’re so severely impacted by the concentrated dosages in their environment that the drugs are actually feminizing the male fish, in some cases causing them to spontaneously change sex. Now, fish and men are entirely different animals, so in no way should this information be summed up like this:

The average person has anti-baby pee that turns dudes into ladies.

That’s just a staggering oversimplification based on a very limited set of data. So maybe you shouldn’t worry yourselves about it. Even if it is happening right now, as you read this! But for there to be some real danger of a humanity-erasing plague of sterility, it would probably have to strike both men and women drastically.

Which it is. Come on! Would it be in this book if it wasn’t terrifying?

The UCLA School of Public Health has found some early evidence that perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, could be associated with increasing infertility in women. And, though they sound exotic and rare, PFCs are used in pretty much everything: Plastics, pesticides, clothing, makeup—odds are you’re wearing or touching something chock-full of perfluorinated chemicals as we speak. The study says that women with higher levels of PFCs in their blood take longer to become pregnant than women with lower levels, if they can become pregnant at all. Because more manufactured materials are used and discarded in those pesky industrialized Western nations again, of course they’re the ones getting hit the hardest. And right in the babymaker.

There’s research to suggest that the fertility of both sexes is in decline due to somewhat mysterious circumstances, but not all sterility-inducing factors are unidentifiable. For example, right now a new crop of genetically modified corn is being harvested. This mutated corn isn’t any larger than normal, doesn’t have a longer shelf life, and isn’t more resistant to disease: It has only one purpose, and that is to serve as a contraceptive.

Seriously.

It’s condom corn. It’s birth-control maize. The crop is harvested and distilled into a gel that acts as a spermicide, but it could render males who eat it infertile as well. One can only assume that the corn is also quite literally the most delectable substance on Earth, because though ordinary corn bread is undeniably delicious, it’s not quite “I don’t want to have kids ever again” delicious. A company in San Diego called Epicyte is responsible for this terrible, terrible idea. They’ve accomplished this extremely unsettling feat by using a recently discovered and exceedingly rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm. When they found these antibodies—which I should remind you are described as “attacking” something inside your balls—Epicyte decided to take the road less traveled and, instead of taking the logical course and killing them with fire, they opted to splice them into corn crops.

Other Epicyte Inventions

·        Black Death by Chocolate Cake

·        Coke Ebola

·        AIDS burgers

But I digress. Epicyte isn’t pure evil; they actually want to help. The general idea Epicyte is working on is to create a hormone-free contraceptive that places reproductive responsibility on both men and women equally, rather than sticking with the status quo, which is asking women to take daily insanity pills so sex can be fun again. Epicyte has also isolated an antiherpes antibody and spliced that gene into the corn as well. So their product will not only serve as a sexual lubricant, but also as a contraceptive and an STD inhibitor. Epicyte president Mitch Hein explains how it works in bizarrely dance-centric terms:

Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada.

Aside from his strange obsession with the Forbidden Dance, that’s an accurate description. The antibodies don’t kill sperm, they just render it inactive. It’s not like you accidentally eat the wrong corn dog once and so can never have babies again—the antibodies actually have to be continually present to function. If you stop eating the corn, the effect will gradually fade.

And before you start thinking that’s comforting, let’s revisit what we learned from the genetically modified foods section: Scientists have proven, over and over again, that it is practically impossible to fully contain GM crops. They will escape and, what’s worse, could actually become the dominant strain of a crop through purely natural reproduction, not to mention the possibility of crosspollinating into other related plants. When you consider that corn is the single largest crop on the planet—sustaining not only our own food, but that of our livestock and, thanks to ethanol, even our vehicles—that’s a pretty big field to contaminate. Since it’s not an “if” but a “when” the contraceptive corn escapes, that means there is a distinct possibility that the largest crop on the planet will eventually render you infertile if you eat it, forcing you to choose between food or babies.

Food is delicious and babies are loud. And if the question is “Would you rather have a Coke or a kid? A sandwich or a lifelong commitment?” we all know the answer most men would choose. (Hint: It’s the dooming-humanity one.)

Not enough examples to worry you yet? OK, one more: There’s a popular theory right now that obesity, conventionally blamed on too much pie and couches, could actually be caused by a virus. A fat virus.

It started twenty years ago, when an Indian scientist named Nikhil Dhurandhar found something odd: An epidemic had struck the local chicken population, killing thousands of birds and leaving behind giant, fatty corpses. Eventually a bizarre type of adenovirus was found to be causing the deaths and now, twenty years after the chickenpocalypse, it’s happening again.

In humans.

Another strain of the same disease, called AD-36, is being found in increasing numbers in human fat tissue. And, as Professor Richard Atkinson of the University of Wisconsin found in a related study, it does have the same obesity effect in humans as it did in chickens. He tested five hundred people for the AD-36 strain and found that those infected by the virus weighed noticeably more than the uninfected. Even after isolating and destroying it in patients with antiviral drugs, the virus’ fat-making effects were not reversed. So, like a can of viral Pringles: Once you pop, you can’t stop (being fat).

It’s not just limited to this one bizarre strain, either. There are several other pathogens linked to obesity in the animal world, and any one could make the jump just like AD-36. Of course, this is all in a chapter about sterility, so let’s get to the matter at hand: Let’s assume there’s a fat plague ravaging the world and that eventually everybody will end up big boned and burger laden. Humanity still has urges, and what is deemed attractive in the oppisite sex can be quite flexible. So we’re having fat, sloppy, roll-slapping sex, so what? So it’s not getting us anywhere, that’s what. A study at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam tested three thousand women struggling with fertility problems and found that chances of successful pregnancy reduced by a staggering 4 percent with every additional Body Mass Unit: The more obese the woman, the less her chance of pregnancy.

This is known as the No-Fat-Chicks Theory of Evolution, and is currently being espoused by both Dutch fertility scientists and the bumpers of pickup trucks with gun racks everywhere.

That means that there’s a virus that inflicts irreversible obesity that in turn renders us infertile, not to mention the fact that our water is “feminizing” all the males, overall ball size has shrunken within a generation, and cornflakes turn your sperm into all-night dance machines that shake, shake, shake it until they die. It’s not hard to see that this is actually one of the most likely doomsday scenarios threatening our species today. So if I were you, I’d start fucking right now.

We’re going to need the head start.