Here is another long article to keep you squinting for the weekend. This fantastic story of a man-eating plant could well have been lifted from a B-grade horror movie.
In 1924 botanists Joseph Villareux and George Gastron were collecting specimens in a swamp 40 miles from New Orleans when they discovered what they described as the ‘missing link between human and animal’.
Joseph and George had been lost in the swamp for over a week when, after landing on a small island, they came across an unusual plant on the water’s edge.
Joseph made the mistake of trying to pick one of its strange flowers, but was grabbed by the fronds of the plant and dragged towards the stem.
Seeing his friend in danger George rushed to help and was himself grabbed by the tentacle-like creepers. Fortunately, they were both armed with axes and spent the next few hours hacking their way to freedom. There would have been quite a bit of motivation to get away from the beast, the entire time they were hacking away at the tentacles unsuspecting critters were wandering by and being grabbed, squeezed and devoured.
If you are one of my regular readers you know I can’t ever read these stories without picking apart the details the story tellers didn’t think through before they opened their mouths. Don’t ever watch a movie with me 😉
Apparently this fight for life took some hours which makes me think that the speediness of the original attack was a little exaggerated. Not only that, when I go flower picking I am not normally armed with an axe. What kind of flowers did they expect to encounter?!
The furry critters on that small but surprisingly well-populated island who were unfortunate enough to be consumed while the fight was going on must have been a little different from any of the critters I know. If I was hacking away at a plant with an axe for a few hours, I can guarantee that nothing furtive and furry would be strolling up to see what I was doing.
I really wish there was a plant like this in the swamps of New Orleans but…. well, I don’t really need to finish this sentence, do I?