Fact Check

No, Chinese Authorities Didn't Seize 7,221 Penises on Nigerian Cargo Ship

The operation was allegedly billed as the "biggest seizure of human organs in history."

Published Apr 15, 2021

Container ship moving on Suez Canal. (Getty Images/Stock photo)
Container ship moving on Suez Canal. (Image Via Getty Images/Stock photo)
Chinese customs officers seized 7,221 "penises of African origin" on a cargo ship from Nigeria.

On March 19, 2021, the World News Daily Report published an article positing that Chinese customs officers had seized more than 7,200 "penises of African origin" on a cargo ship from Nigeria:

Chinese Authorities Seize Over 7,200 Human Penises on a Cargo Ship From Nigeria

Chinese customs officers have made the world’s biggest seizure of human organs in history this morning, a total of 7221 penises of African origin hidden in a refrigerated freight container.

Acting on information from an anonymous informer, Chinese officers found the organs in 36 boxes labelled as plantains (cooking bananas) inside a refrigerated container on a ship harboured in the Shanghai Port.

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

WNDR assumes however 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 persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.

The same fabricated text was subsequently published verbatim, without a satire disclaimer, on several websites (for example, The Street Journal) that gave the misleading impression they were providing actual news.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

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