Image: Screengrab, TikTok

Typically, blog posts open with a broad statement establishing a thesis, which the writer then substantiates with evidence in order to make a point. In exceptional cases, there’s just information so senseless that it needs no interpretation; in others, the writer isn’t positioned to take a stance on an issue when it’s better interpreted by a member of the community it affects. Who am I, in my capacity as a staff reporter and as a person without balls, to determine whether it’s weird to dip your balls in soy sauce to see if they can taste?

I bring you news that has traveled from both hemispheres, officially qualifying this as A Thing: to repeat, ball-having TikTok users are dipping their balls in soy sauce to see if they can taste. Apparently, these users have been reading Business Insider, which reported in 2013 on a study finding that not only the mouth but also several parts of the body including the stomach, lungs, brain, and testicles have taste receptors that are sensitive to umami, which the Business Insider piece defines as “the amino acid taste of soy sauce.” A citizen scientist explains the logic behind his TikTok experiment here. I won’t show you, but you can find them doing it here. Balls, in compliance with TikTok’s nudity rules, are not visible.

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Had inquiring minds read further into the study, they would have learned that the receptors function inside the balls in order to sense sweet and umami flavors critical to identifying and compounding proteins in the generation of sperm. In a refresher on how such receptors work, Popular Science reports:

...even if the receptors do end up on the surface, dipping your giblets in soy sauce wouldn’t enable you to taste them because there aren’t cranial nerves connected to your balls. You lack the proper brain-testicle connection to actually taste things.

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But teens willing to arguably stand in direct violation of TikTok’s underage delinquent behavior ban take orders from neither scientists nor the authorities, as proven by another trend: arson. Prompted by a report from a concerned mother and an incident in a high school (charges will be pressed), Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey addressed an advisory to all heads of fire departments, describing the content:

It involves using the plug part of a phone charger, partially inserting it into the wall outlet, and then sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. The result is sparks, electrical system damage, and in some cases fire.

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In addition to the above information, Fox News is also disgusted to report that TikTok pioneers are using each others’ mouths as cereal bowls.

Just reporting the news here, and I am not condoning any of these TikTok challenges because challenges are bad and dumb and often perilous, but from a purely analytical standpoint, a willingness to put your balls on the line for views suggests platform growth. Only months after Vine became the most-downloaded app from the App Store did teens begin smacking each other in the face. You didn’t see teens eating Tide Pods on Google+, nor did we hear of people crashing their cars blindfolded on Bebo. If you show up to the #soysaucechallenge, balls in hand, and there are no fellow challengers or witnesses to participate, have you qualified as a #challenger? Or are you just a guy alone in your kitchen fooling around with your balls?

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