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In 2015 there was a new sensation in pop news: Robert Esquivel Cabrera of Mexico, a 54-year-old man who claimed to have "the world's largest penis" at an absurd 18.9 inches. His story, along with pictures of a supposed monstrous cock swaddled in bandages and wraps swept across the internet. It was enormous, bigger than any dick anybody had ever previously recorded. Cabrera reported that it made maintaining a sex life impossible, and that it causes frequent problems due to frequent urinary tract infections. He managed to get on a government disability program because of the size of his penis prevented him from working.

There's just one problem: it's all foreskin and he did it to himself

Cabrera has made a name for himself, but he's steadfastly refused to show anybody in the media his uncovered penis. To be enrolled in the disability program his condition had to be medically verified, which put him in contact with radiologist Dr. Jesus Pablo Gil Muro — and even in front of a doctor he still refused to remove the bandages.

So the hospital performed a CT scan of his genitals through the bandages: it's all foreskin, and his actual penis was only seven inches — and that's as it's stretched by the weight of all that foreskin and bandage. While long foreskins are a real though uncommon thing, even the most excessive don't extend more than around an inch past the fully flaccid penis. Cabrera's was hanging more than a foot past his penis.

A CT scan of Cabrera’s penis showed it is actually mostly foreskin that resulted from years of unnecessary stretching with weights.

To add insult to injury, it turns out that the whole situation is Cabrera's fault. As a teenager he engaged in a stretching routine by strapping weights to his penis, but all he managed to do is stretch out his foreskin. And despite the fact that it wasn't having the desired effect of making his actual penis longer, he continued to engage in the stretching routine. He did this to himself.

Like many men, Cabrera was deeply concerned with the size of his penis from a young age. Most men in that situation just learn to accept what they have, though many remain insecure or turn bitter about their perceived situation. But most don't go to the extremes as Cabrera. Most don't deliberately mutilate their bodies over the span of years and years, to the point that it impedes their ability to function as a contributing member of society.

Cabrera has repeatedly been offered surgery to remove the excess foreskin to start restoring normal function to his penis. But he has steadfastly refused, choosing to instead live in squalor in a single-room apartment with a small bit of notoriety. This is mental illness, and it is sad to see. Not just that, but he was also convicted of multiple crimes in the USA, including a felony indecent exposure charge to two minor girls.

Cabrera could've continued to live a quiet but uncomfortable and unfulfilling life, had it not been for the sloppy reporting of outlets like TMZ, The Sun, and The Daily Mail. Their lack of rigor, just repeating his word that it was actually penis and actually natural, and even looping in noted big-penis fraud Jonah Falcon, perpetuated the brief media sensation around Cabrera. It's Cabrera's fault that he's like this, but it's the uncaring media machine that put the spotlight on a man obvious mental illness as some sort of novelty — all in the service of getting as many people to gawk at him as possible, because eyeballs on their websites mean ad dollars.

Roberto Esquivel Cabrera needs help, not offers from porn companies.