03.16.10 8 years ago 12 Comments

“Sizing Up Sperm,” which first aired on National Geographic this past Sunday, took a highly unusual approach in its examination of human reproduction: the show used human actors to represent individual sperm cells, scaling up the act of insemination to epic proportions. In case you’re no good at metaphors, the valley in the picture above represents a vagina. Hee hee! From the absolutely magnificent press release:

The story begins in the testicle — depicted as a building that would be 3,000 feet, more than double the height of the Empire State Building, if the sperm were human-sized. Next it’s a high-speed evacuation from the skyscraper along a 10-mile, ultra-fast water slide to the female, where the constant barrage of threats begin. For the sperm, landing in the female’s vagina is like storming the beaches on D-Day, only facing chemical weapons in the form of a deadly acid attack on the hundreds of millions of invaders. [sounds like sex with a Kardashian. Zing!]

The survivors press on into the cervix high above them. In our people-sized sperm world that would mean climbing a ladder a mile into the sky, a gravity-defying feat that only a few will achieve. Once the heights have been scaled, they reach a cervix Stephen King style. It consists of hundreds of tiny branching tunnels that trap, crush and slowly kill sperm. From here, the remaining sperm enter the uterus, the equivalent of a two-mile-long field at these proportions. But this picturesque countryside is far from serene. Here the sperm are ambushed by the female’s natural assassins, large white blood cells that dismantle the trespassing sperm. For the tiny fraction left, it’s on to the fallopian tubes, where the egg may be waiting. One last obstacle remains — a freestyle swimming final of Olympic proportions, where the winner gains immortality, and the rest are killed.

Ha ha, it’s funny because sex! But seriously, killing all the losers would make the “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” totally watchable.

(“Sizing Up Sperm” airs again this Sunday. See videos below for more.)

“Meet Glenn. Like most average men, Glenn has no idea about the miracle of engineering tucked away in his pants.” Whatever, all the ladies call it a miracle of engineering. They’re just being polite, though.

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