The oldest method for pregnancy detection dated back 3500 years ago. Woman peed on barley and wheat seeds. If the seeds grew, she was pregnant. If the barley seed grew first it was a boy, otherwise a girl. If nothing grew she wasn’t pregnant. The method turns out it’s accurate 70% of the time!

Egyptian Papyrus Reveals This Old Wives’ Tale Is Very Old Indeed

Throughout history, cultures around the world have come up with lots of folk prognostications for predicting the sex assigned at birth. If the mother craves sweets, it’s a girl; if she eats a lot of garlic, it’s also a girl. Have a healthy glow? It’s a boy. Pupils constantly dilated? Boy. Develop acne? Definitely a girl. As it turns out, this type of fortune-telling has been around for even longer than researchers thought; Bonnie Burton at CNET reports that a newly deciphered 3,500-year-old Egyptian papyrus details a relatively elaborate way to find out a baby’s sex.

The trick comes from the Papyrus Carlsberg Collection held at the University of Copenhagen. Though the trove of ancient documents were purchased and collected in the 1930s,… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

15 thoughts on “The oldest method for pregnancy detection dated back 3500 years ago. Woman peed on barley and wheat seeds. If the seeds grew, she was pregnant. If the barley seed grew first it was a boy, otherwise a girl. If nothing grew she wasn’t pregnant. The method turns out it’s accurate 70% of the time!”

  1. ctatmeow

    It’s important to note that it was only 70% accurate at detecting if there was a pregnancy, it did not accurately detect the sex of the baby. Scientists believe this worked because elevated levels of estrogen in a woman’s urine might have promoted seed growth.

  2. Frptwenty

    Is there an ancient Egyptian test for diagnosing why my Wifi keeps dropping?

  3. fhost344

    You need patience with this kind of wheat-and-see approach

  4. Yury-K-K

    It won’t work nowadays. I mean, who can tell wheat seeds from barley anymore?

  5. truthflea

    “60% of the time, it works every time” Brian Fantana

  6. Stairwayunicorn

    and this is why beer was sacred to the Egyptians

  7. black_flag_4ever

    Talk about slow results.

  8. jenwren1

    Another way I’m sure had something to do with injecting your wee into a frog

  9. BJntheRV

    I saw that on The Great and meant to look into it. So, thank you for sharing.

  10. bc_poop_is_funny

    This beer tastes like PISS!

  11. Salty_Orchid

    I saw that on an episode of The Great. Thought it was just made up.

  12. Systemantix

    “Hey, Bill! Melissa peed on some barley seeds, and now she’s pregnant! Have Stacy do the same thing with wheat!”

  13. SAT0-6

    My gf and I tried this and now we’re banned from Home Depot

  14. Kir_NB

    Been trying for baby #2 for a few years now. This’ll save me a ton on pregnancy tests!

  15. Aoiboshi

    70% of the time, it works everytime…

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