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Does This Giant Fertility Icon Really Work?

Out in the fields around Dorest, a giant figure known as the “Rude Man” is inscribed in stones. Since Victorian times, it’s been thought to be a symbol of fertility. Some people even say it has magical powers to bless women with lots of babies.

Maybe they’re right. The women in the surrounding towns now have the highest birth rate in the country. The typical women in these townships has 3 children, double the U.K. average, and nearly three times the birth rate of women in cities like Westminster.

Is the Rude Man knocking these ladies up?

The figure has quite a legend around it. According to the Telegraph:

In the past locals would erect a maypole on the earthwork, around which childless couples would dance to promote fertility.

According to folklore, a woman who sleeps on the figure will be “blessed with fecundity”, and infertility may be cured through having sex on top of the figure, especially the phallus.

A less magical explanation for the local baby boom: some local suggest the Rude Man could be inspiring people to get with the baby making, just by being around.

I can just see that. You’re on your way home from work, and you have this nagging feeling you’re forgetting something important when you see a giant figure of an nude man standing erect in a field . “Oh, that’s right!” you think, “I was going to get pregnant! Almost slipped my mind. Good thing the Rude Man was here to remind me.”


What do you think of Dorset’s baby boom? Superstitious nonsense, or practical magic? Will you be vacationing there next time you want to get knocked up?

Photo: Hardo

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