Medieval Torture Device

Image of the alleged Crocodile Shears Torture Device
Image of the alleged Crocodile Shears Torture Device


People have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Medieval Europe and how life (and death) was for the average medieval peasant.

Outside of the usual sick, dirty, poor, and near starvation, the first thing that comes to mind for most people when mentioning The Middle Ages is Medieval Torture Devices.

It is true that there were a vast array of inventions designed to inflict as much pain as possible on the hostage for the longest amount of time. However, it is not true that general torture and witch burning were common occurrences to the point of being a daily entertainment for the peasants to go watch after a long day in the fields, akin to the modern concept of going to movies every night.

Historical hoaxes have always existed as a way for people to make some quick profit. But the invention of the internet brought about other forms of hoaxes all with different connotations, such as purposeful disinformation, psychological warfare, memetic warfare and trolling, among many others.

There are many forms of trolling, but the common denominator is that the individual does not seek personal gain. One such form consists of convincing others that something is true. And is in that vein that the Crocodile Shears Medieval Torture Device Hoax was born.

Crocodile Shears

According to many online sources, some reputable and some Youtube and Tik Tok channels, the Crocodile shears were a Medieval Torture Device used in late Medieval Europe.

It was a gruesome form of torture particularly reserved for men who tried to assassinate the king.

The device used consisted of a pair of metal shears based on the concept of pincers. These crocodile shears had their hemicylindrical blades lined with a great number of spikes. The device would then be heated to an excruciatingly hot temperature and applied to the victim’s erect penis, which was then torn from his body, or if he was lucky, the device could just lead to intense bleeding from the severed arteries.

A punishment from Hell!

Wikipedia Hoax

However, despite the supposed detailed description of the device, there is no evidence to suggest that it ever actually existed. In fact, there is no mention of the Crocodile Shears in any historical documents or sources, and no record of anyone having ever been subjected to such a device.

Moreover, the description of the device itself is highly questionable. It is highly unlikely that a device made of two curved blades could be opened and closed like scissors, and it is even more unlikely that it could be used to “tear off” a person’s limbs.

As it turns out, this supposed medieval torture device called “Crocodile Shears” was a Wikipedia Hoax. The Hoax itself went unnoticed for a whopping six years and four months (20th March 2006 – 30th July 2012) before it was finally taken down and listed under the ‘Wikipedia List of Hoaxes’.


In conclusion, there is no evidence to suggest that the Crocodile Shears ever existed. It appears to be nothing more than a Wikipedia hoax, created for the purpose of sensationalizing a medieval torture device.

Wikipedia is a wonderful source of information, especially if you are just learning a new topic for the first time, or need a general overview of a particular subject you are unfamiliar with. But, you should always verify your sources and verify that the information you are reading is correct.

If something seems too fantastical to be true, it probably is a hoax. You should always check your sources.

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