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An adult black rhinoceros is up to 10 feet long, six feet tall, and can weigh a ton and a half. That means when the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) wants to move one, they can’t just throw it in a pickup truck and drive off.
In this photo, a WWF helicopter is flying a sedated black rhino deep into the forests of Africa in an effort to relocate it to a more remote, safer habitat. The black rhino is under serious threat from poachers, who have cut its numbers from several hundred thousand at the turn of the 20th century to only about 4,000 in a 2008 survey.
And why? Because the horn is cut off, ground up, and sold as an aphrodisiac.
Now, I think we can all agree that wiping out such a majestic species in the name of a little extra sex drive is absurd, even if it did work. But let’s take that a step further. What’s in a rhino horn, anyway?
It turns out it’s keratin, which is the same material that makes up human hair and fingernails and animal hooves, as well as giving skin its toughness. So what people are taking to increase their sex drive is qualitatively no different than trying to get in the mood by chewing your own fingernails off.
But let’s take another step back, shall we? Do aphrodisiacs — ingested substances that increase sexual desire — really work?
The short answer? No. There’s never been a substance discovered that increases sex drive. Chocolate, champagne, oysters, ginger, saffron — all busts.
In fact, the Food and Drug administration has a list of 22 substances—both natural and synthesized—that have been listed as active ingredients in over-the-counter aphrodisiacs, and says about that list: “There is a lack of adequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of any of these ingredients, or any other ingredient, for OTC use as an aphrodisiac. Labeling claims for aphrodisiacs…are either false, misleading, or unsupported by scientific data.”
There is a bright side for the lonely lovers out there, though. One chemical was discovered recently that has a genuine effect on arousal, making it the first true aphrodisiac ever scientifically supported.
The good news is that it’s cheap, simple, and easy to get hold of. It’s the smell of rotting fruit.
The bad news: it only works on fruit flies.
So for all you lovebirds out there, the bottom line is pretty simple. Maybe you have a special man or lady in your life. Maybe things have been going really well, and they’re starting to heat up. Maybe you just want that little extra edge to get them slightly more naked than they already are.
Sorry, folks. You’re going to have to work for it.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Angus Bohanon at Angus.firstname.lastname@example.org.