For sale: Used condoms made from fish swim bladders


Think of this as an anti-unicorn chaser for the cute baby animals.

This set of 110-year-old condoms, made from the swim bladders* of fish, are up for auction in Vienna. Delightfully, they seem to have been meant to be reusable, as evidenced by the former owner's careful tally of how many times each condom had been used. It looks as though you were only supposed to reuse 10 times.

*Not a "bladder" like what fills up with urine, but, rather, a gas-filled internal balloon that helps fish control their own buoyancy. The other bladder usually is much less condom-shaped.

Via Dinosaurs and Robots, with assistance from hectocotyli.


  1. not really an anti-unicorn chaser for me. I actually feel very vaguely pleased to think of people in the (relatively) distant past having (relatively) safe sex.

    I get both the good feelings of knowing that technology has gotten better, yet also the reassuring non-futureshock feeling that some aspects of life have not changed to the point of unrecognizability in the last 100 years.

  2. I suppose I just wonder how he kept tally of them considering that they all looked the same… I mean… it seems you can distinguish used ones from non-used… but why not use one till it’s no longer usable and then move on? Unless each one was for a separate partner, though somehow I doubt that vigilance on his behalf.

  3. Recyclable, natural, biodegradable – and if it winds up back in the ocean, it belongs there anyways. I like.

  4. There were a lot of reusable condoms back in the day. There was more to using them than slapping them on. You had to soak them before use. They were pretty much all reusable.

    Condom history is strangely interesting.

  5. How about a touch of irony? Why don’t we see if we can find some DNA on these condoms? If we find some, we can clone it. Then this would be the first time a condom caused a pregnancy!

  6. Um, would it be improper to say that I’ve actually “used” some?

    Y’know, as an ingredient in fish maw soup?

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