Thunderbolt (magun), penis captivus, and a case for African science

in Cross Culturelast year (edited)

Infidelity among lovers has become a normal thing in most parts of the world. It is not uncommon to see infidels even boasting about how they cheated on their partners. Paternity fraud is now a common occurrence and marital homes are being destroyed because of mistresses.

In the olden days here in Nigeria and some parts of Africa, there is a way infidelity is dealt with in society to keep everyone sane. If a woman is suspected to be cheating on her husband, such a husband will consult with African scientists, also known as witch doctors, and the wife would be laid thunderbolt without her knowledge.

Thunderbolt operates in the metaphysical realm, often call charm or magic. A woman who has been laid thunderbolt has become a danger to any man she has sex with, including her legitimate husband. Hence, a husband that laid his wife a thunderbolt will stay away from her bed for a period of time for the effects of the thunderbolt to wear off. Assuming the woman is truly a cheat and goes ahead to have sex with another man, such a man usually ends up dying during or after the act or, in some cases, the man and the woman would be stuck together by metaphysical power only a witch doctor can remove.

image source: wikkimedia common

There is a variety of death available to a man that has sex with a woman who has been laid a thunderbolt depending on the kind of thunderbolt she was laid. In some cases, the man would suddenly withdraw in the middle of the act and starts somersaulting. The maximum number of summersault is usually three times after which death becomes inevitable. A woman that understands the station might prevent the man from making three summersaults before calling out for help. In most cases, the situation can still be arrested.

A more brutal version of death from thunderbolt is that the man just starts vomiting blood all of a sudden without any prior signs of being sick. This kind of thunderbolt usually has no remedy. In another one, the man appears fine after committing adultery but starts feeling an extreme thirst for water a few moments after. The more water he drinks, the more thirsty he becomes until he eventually gives up the ghost. Some thunderbolts require that the man stays fine until he tries to cross the or any drainage. In all these, the main person at the receiving end is the man, the woman usually ends up being fine but would live with the shame for the rest of her life.

Penis captivus or thunderbolt?

A version of the thunderbolt that works by ensuring that the adultering couple stays glued together until the person that laid the thunderbolt comes with the antidote looks in every way like a medical case of penis captivus.

Penis captivus is a medical condition in which the penis becomes trapped in the vagina during sexual acts as a result of the sudden and powerful contraction of the muscles of the vagina wall. It is a rare medical occurrence with very little documentation so much so that some quarters among the world's scientists call it a myth.

Incidences of penis captivus have been few and far in-between even in anecdotal occurrences. Few people were able to anonymously share their experiences in this article by BBC. Despite the scanty scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that the medical condition exists, one cannot just call the anecdotal testimonies a ruse. The problem is that many of the incidences do not make it to the hospital before a solution is preferred. Most of the time, it is about time.

One area where one might distinguish between penis captivus and thunderbolt is that while the former requires time for the muscles of the vaginal wall to relax and release the penis, it does not happen automatically in the case of the latter without some form of sacrificial atonements.

Final thoughts

African science, which some people like to refer to as witchcraft, is real and this has been the foundation upon which norms and values of African countries are built. While some phenomena that have been attributable to witchcraft in the past have been untangled by science, some other things would remain mysteries and will never be unraveled using the scientific method. Conventional science might have achieved more and in wide-gapped ascendancy but witchcraft remains relevant even up till today.

Cases of laying women with thunderbolts still abound in some places in Africa. While some people use the magic to get their own form of justice, some just use it out of sheer wickedness. The same thing applies to every other form of witchcraft being practiced around. This is why conventional science would always trump witchcraft.

You can watch a Nigerian movie about thunderbolt magun in the YouTube video below:

You can also watch this short twitter video about a real-life case of thunderbolt in Nigeria here. Why did I call it a case of thunderbolt and not penis captivus? It was a case of the woman cheating on her husband and the husband deliberately laid a thunderbolt for her.

You can read more about thunderbolt and penis captivus in the resources below:


I have known thunderbolt and penis captivus exists for long. In fact my mom told me her brother died through thunderbolt. There is the one the man would keep craving for uncooked beans till he dies.
These two things are punishment for any man cheating and a way to put the woman in shame.
Thanks for sharing this.
I was directed here by @dreemport

Wooh. That's really a huge one. Your testimony further gives credence that the subject of thunderbolt is not just a myth here in Africa. Thanks for the contribution

Interesting and somewhat unbelievable. Lol. Please, don't mind me. I know science is not likely to prove everything. Dats is not always available in enough amount but ...... oh! I don't know what. These witchcraft things are difficult to believe but if things are prevailing in a society, it would have some basis for it.

It was an interesting article. I enjoyed reading. Thanks to @dreemport for bringing me here.
Have a nice day 😊

I never knew the name but I've heard a lot about the thunderbolt thing and the thought of it is terrifying. Although in my mind I imagined that rather than it being a contraction of the cervix, I imagine that the penis skin and the skin of the vagina walls just join together mysteriously.

However, now that you mention that something similar exists medically I suspect that maybe these African priests can create a drug or herb that causes the cervix to close or get tight and then they have a herb that released it.

My thoughts though.

Magun can be anything but a drug. Most often, it is just a piece of rope that a woman needs to cross unknowingly. Witch doctors are different from herbalists. The latter combine leaves for remedies while the former use charms and metaphysical powers to conjure magic.

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Man, that just made me cringe. I have to take a cold shower now.

Welcome to the African culture. Although most of these practices are fading off quite fast.

I think all cultures have their "witch doctors" they struggle to shake.

Heck, we still have people over here injecting themselves with horse de-wormer thinking it will help fight Covid because some whack-a-doodle mentioned it as a possibility.

I agree with you. Some cultural practices just sound too nasty to even imagine.


Ah this was a very interesting read...I have read about a few cases of the "magun" attack of sudden death during sex - do I believe in the supernatural, not really, because it could have a case of cardiac arrest.

You think like a scientist, which is fine. However, not everything here in Africa can be unraveled by science.

Interesting. Is there an expression of this kind of punishment directed at men? Or is it assumed that the woman is always to blame for adultery? Are there female witch doctors who practice are able to lay thunderbolt or is it entirely a male knowledge/tradition?

I do not know or heard from history that there is a version for men. However, if you look at it closely, men are still at the receiving end of it. It takes two to tango but oftentimes, an adulterous man does not live to tell his story. An adulterous woman would only need to live with the shame.

I understand. When I was researching about Icelandic Runestaves, I realized that there's a considerable number of runic charms to detect both thievery and adultery, they seemed to be at the top of the concerns in shamanic cultures in Europe too.

What I find most fascinating about this information is that the people thus marked can experience very tangible effects, very quickly. Have you personally met witch doctors able to perform this service? They must have amazing stories.

Have you personally met witch doctors able to perform this service?

Not directly. The truth is you will not know who can perform such a service unless you specifically want such service. I have never (and will most likely never) had reasons to visit witch doctors but I know they abound. I do not think I will even visit them for research purposes.

This magun thing still exists? I thought it is an isn't by now. Although I do no subscribe to a married woman cheating but then I feel like the "magun" punishment is extreme. But then, why would a woman want to cheat on her husband? This is why we always advise people to be convinced before saying I do.

Nobody deserves to die an embarrassing death but then no one deserves a cheating partner.

This is why we always advise people to be convinced before saying I do.

A cheat will always be a cheat irrespective of whether they are convinced before marrying their partners or not. People have different motives for cheating - sexual insatiety, material things, mental/psychological issues, etc.