Fact Check

Man Loses Testicles While Trying to 'Fill Scuba Tank with Weed Smoke’

A fake news article reported that the unfortunate man had knocked over the tank, causing it to explode.

Published Sep 21, 2016

A man lost his testicles while attempting to fill a scuba tank with marijuana smoke.

On 3 September 2016, the entertainment web site IsThatLegit.com published a hoax article that reported a man in Calgary had lost a testicle when he knocked over a scuba tank he was attempting to fill with marijuana smoke, causing it to explode and send shrapnel flying into his body:


A 29-year old Calgary local has suffered extensive injuries to his lower body after an unconventional attempt to ‘fill a scuba tank with weed smoke’ failed spectacularly last Thursday night. According to the testimony of several witnesses, Robert Palmer had consumed a copious quantity of alcohol before making the decision to demonstrate the home-made device.

“Rob’s a recreational diver,” commented one of the injured man’s friends. “For some time, he’s been tinkering with an old scuba tank that he’d bought cheaply from a dive shop. His plan was to use an air compressor to feed smoke into the tank, and then use a scuba regulator to inhale it.”

While the story received some attention after it was first published, it reached a larger audience on 16 September 2016 when it was copied word for word by the disreputable web site BostonLeader.com, with the exception of the location and the man's name.  BostonLeader.com does not carry a disclaimer on its web site, but has previously published hoax news stories (such as its claim that a China zoo had named a baby gorilla Harambe McHarambeFace). 

Unlike the more recent version, IsThatLegit.com — where the story originated — clearly states that its content is fictional:

All content is for entertainment value only. Any resemblance to any real person, people, business, country, solar system or entity is unintentional.

The photograph of the ruptured scuba tank has been circulating since at least 2008, and the image of the ambulance was taken in 2015 after an assault in Calgary.  Neither event had anything to do with either marijuana or testicles.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.