It’s question that has puzzled Godzilla fans since he first appeared over six decades ago. Sure, he’s a mythical creature who was created to be embodiment of the nuclear age in a devastated post-war Japan, but… does he have a big, scaly, lizard dick, or what? Can he get it on with a lady-Godzilla? Is he even a dude?
“Yes, Godzilla has a penis,” says writer and Godzilla expert Shyaporn Theerakulstit, who has given lectures on Godzilla’s biology for panels at the Smithsonian and TEDx. Theerakulstit likens Godzilla’s biology to that of most reptiles, pointing out his hemipenal bulge at the base of the tail below the belly. “If you look at pictures of this area on Godzilla, you will notice said bulge.”
Not so fast, though. Toho, the company that owns the copyright to Godzilla, says that such anatomical specificity is off-limits.
“When you’re working for Toho, it’s just not a concern, you don’t even think about it. It’s not part of the design,” explains Matt Frank, the comic book artist for IDW’s ongoing Godzilla comic book series. “The design of Godzilla, Toho has to approve. You can’t just have a hanging schlong out there.”
“The monsters are generally genderless, it’s just not something Toho concerns themselves with,” Frank explains. “The monsters aren’t so much characters as they are actors. They’re actors that Toho will plug into a film, and the monsters are rewritten to fit.” In Gojira, Godzilla is a force of nature. In Terror of Mechagodzilla, Godzilla is a drunken git. In Son of Godzilla, the big monster is a reluctant, put-upon dad. And in terms of gender, well, it’s just not acknowledged.
“The whole idea is that kaiju are inherently mysterious. If you know everything about them, they cease to be kaiju,” Frank explains. “The term means mysterious beast, it means something unquantifiable. That’s the thing Toho really stipulates nowadays. We can’t really know everything about Godzilla. We’re not even certain what he eats aside from radioactive energy. Unless it’s a specific part of the story, [to know more] flies in the face of everything kaiju.”
If the pre-nuclear Godzilla is biologically akin to a specific known amphibian, though, we may have our answer.
Theerakulstit believes there is no doubt about the matter, based on the canon established by Gojira and picked up again in the ‘80s. In that original film, Professor Yamane postulates Godzilla is a mutated therapod from the Cretaceous period that survived millennia in underwater caves. Triggered by the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, the therapod became Godzilla.
“Some believed it was the Abelisauridae, others speculated it was Ceratosaurus due to the armor plates along its back,” says Theerakulstit. “However, Yamane was correct when he theorized Godzilla was from a transitional dinosaur form, as was confirmed in 1991 upon the discovery of the Godzillasaurus,’ a specimen which survived on Lagos Island [in the film *Godzilla vs King Ghidora*]. It shortly mutated into a fully grown Godzilla.”
So Godzilla may definitely have a penis, though we can’t be sure. But let’s assume, for a moment, that he does indeed pack heat. Can he use it? And does he just need a good shag to get rid of the pain of being a monster born of atomic warfare?
“I’m afraid your hypothesis is based on a faulty notion,” Theerakulstit grimly states. “Godzilla’s rages are fueled by humanity’s tendency to blow up nuclear weapons next to Monster Island.”
What about Lady Godzillas though? What would they be like?
Theerakulstit also suggests that female kaijus (if Godzilla swings that way) may be bigger and more fearsome than any Godzilla we’ve seen, given that female lizards are bigger than their male counterparts. That would make for an absolutely gigantic kaiju; Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014 and this year’s Shin Godzilla have the monster just under 400 feet tall, which would tower over the Bank of America building in Manhattan.
“This sexual dimorphism explains why the female specimens never wander beyond territory, as they probably are less distracted by noises and shiny things than their male counterparts,” he says.
So maybe Godzilla isnt looking for a sexual relationship, but what about something more meaningful, like love, as suggested in the Dr. Pepper commercials? Dr. Tsutsui agreed that Godzilla is, in fact, an emotional creature.
“It is implicit in the Japanese films that Godzilla is thinking and caring,” he says. “It is in contrast with the American Tri-Star Godzilla, depicted as an animal driven by instinct.”
Read the entire thesis at HuffPo.