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When perusing the produce section of the grocery store, have you ever wondered how our brave ancestors were able to determine what plants were edible or deadly?


Take Elderberries, for instance. They are packed with nutrients like vitamin C and also rich in vitamin B6. But not all berries are created equal.

Pokeweed berries, Yew berries, and Holly berries are just some examples of the kinds of berries that are not our friends.

Many of these have toxic compounds that can lead to nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps when ingested. At worst, eating them can kill you.

Beware of beautiful plants the next time you're out in the wild. Even touching them could be a brush with death.

Curious to be educated about plant life, Redditor RKola asked:

"Botanists of reddit, what are the scariest plants in the world?"

Not Edible

They may look good enough to eat, but some of these plants are a one-way ticket to the after life.

Tangena

"This plant has killed an estimated 100,000 people on Madagascar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangena?wprov=sfti1"

Beardor

How About Them Apples?

"Manchineels ('Beach Apples') look like small apples but eating them will give you a terrible time. Even worse the sap is really toxic and if you stand near a machineel during rain just a small drop of the sap can immediately cause burnlike blisters on the skin. Some people say that the sap is so toxic that it even destroys car paint. If you get sap on the hand and then in a moment of temporary dumbness touch your eyes, you could get blind.

The Spanish call them 'Manzanilla de la muerte"'which translates to little apple of death, although no deaths in modern times caused by Machineels are known."

TheBassMeister

Toxic Symptoms

"Water hemlock (Cicuta) is fairly common in North America and very toxic. It can be fatal when even small amounts are ingested and resembles other non-toxic plants that are edible. Even just touching your lips or skin to the plant has been fatal for children. It causes swelling in the brain, blood coagulation problems, tremors, seizures, kidney failure among other issues. Death is usually caused by respiratory arrest and/or ventricular fibrillation."

MizElaneous

Hogweed Horrors

Hogweed is a biennial or perennial herb in the carrot family. But that doesn't mean you can chomp on them.

Photosensitive For Life

"Giant hogweed was the first that comes to mind for me also. I was told about it by a supervisor last year. She basically told me I probably won't run into it because it's pretty rare in our region, but that it could make your skin photosensitive for life. The possibility of lifelong consequences from simply brushing against a plant scared the sh*t out of me."

cambium7

Enflamed Arms

"Oooooh, pushkey is what we call it in Alaska. Its f'king everywhere. I didnt realize the photosensitivity just knew it was a pain in the a**. I was working as a groundskeep at a rec camp and I weedwacked the hell out of a quartermile portion of road, no arm protection. Arms burned like hell."

ravendarklord76

Never Know What You're Gonna Get

"The entire apiaceae family. It's like forager roulette: you either get wild carrot or poison hemlock. Such is the reason I don't f'k with these plants in the wild."

TheRainbowWillow

Beware Of Foraging

If you're not equipped with the knowledge of looking for provisions that won't kill you, you''re better off staying home.

Brush With death

"I remember playing with the PNW U.S. native water hemlock flowers as a child. I had no idea how close I was to accidentally killing myself. I always washed my hands before going inside. I'm glad you are mentioning this. I know a lot of people getting into foraging who are delighted to learn about our edible umbels, but I bring them back down to Earth by showing them comparison pictures and describing how the deadly ones can kill you."

princessbubbbles

Beware Of The Gympie-Gympie

"The mother trucking Gympie-Gympie plant. The pain can last for MONTHS, I've heard of people and animals killing themselves to escape the pain. Being caught in a slammed car door would be merciful compared to the level of pain this bloody plant inflicts."

"How can it be so painful? The leaves are covered in silica hairs, touching the leaf can break off the tip of these hairs that then settle into the skin and become basically a 'self-injecting hypodermic needle' full of what's essentially venom."

"Unfun fact, Gympie-Gympie leaves can still sting when they're off the plant and technically dead. People have been stung by leaves in botanical collections."

PatienceFar1140

"Satan's Cereal"

"The Gympie-gympie terrifies me. There was one story of a poor soldier relieving his secondary port in the bush and reached for a leaf to wipe. Cue the gympie covering his chute with what can only be described as Satan's cereal. The pain can last month's or even years if encountered that severely."

schofield101

A little Google image research of what some of these botanical killers look like might do you some good.

Because you never know when you'll be stranded in the wild and feel the hunger pains coming on while you have no Cliff Bar on your person.

But perhaps these botanists have failed to mention the most terrifying plant of them all.

Just remember what Little Shop of Horrors has taught us: whatever you do, "don't feed the plants."

steve martin GIF by Coolidge Corner Theatre Giphy

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Typically, I would write an intro about my own experiences with the weird kids at school, but I WAS the weird kid in school. Not in a bad way, more like a “I had a John Waters phase” when I was 16 and everyone knew it. So like, cool-weird. At least I hope so.

Schools aren’t always so lucky to have the cool kinds of weird kids though. The spectrum of weird extends even further than that, and can sometimes end up very disasterous.

U/Imaginary_East5786 asked: What was the weirdest thing the weird kid did at school?

​Let’s start with the grossest of the gross. Because why not.

Was it worth it?

peeing ralph wiggum GIF Giphy

He heard that you'd automatically get suspended if you peed your pants at school. He wanted to find out if it was true, peed his pants, got suspended.

Memoryduel

Scientific method:

> Observation: 'I've heard that by peeing your pants you will be suspended'

> Hypothesis: If I pee my pants I will be suspended

> Experiment: I peed my pants and I got suspended

> Conclusion: If I pee my pants I get suspended

Glez_fdezdavila_

Uhhh what was the intention here?

He got mad that he didn't understand how to play a game at lunchtime so he started hitting and punching the nearest person to him, who happened to be me. When I shoved him away and asked him what the hell was he doing, he whipped his unit.out, charged at me and when I shoved him away from me again he started crying and ran away with his member still sticking out.

Kurtles12

​Next ones up are the lowkey (or even highkey) disturbing stories. These weird kids can get a little scary.

Boom theret.

At my middle school, someone decided to get a little attention with a good old fashioned bomb threat. Except they thought that a bomb threat meant literally writing "bomb threat" somewhere. Worse yet, they misspelled the f*ck out of it, and wrote "boom theret."

So we had to go on a brief, very awkward lockdown while the police checked the perimeter for booms.

Angusthedangus

I hope there was no overlap in the columns.

Serial Killer Halloween GIF by GIPHY CAM Giphy

She wrote a list of all the girls and boys she wanted to kiss and murder and then casually passed it out on the playground.

Fun-Acadia-8735

2 separate lists or just the 1?

OppositeYouth

Same list 2 columns lol.

Fun-Acadia-8735

Holy crap.

Had the weird kid in high school ask the teacher to use the bathroom. She said no and this dude legit stabbed his hand with a pencil. Went all the way through then asked if he could now...sh*t was wild.

This was Pearl High School in Mississippi. This was the school Luke Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and her friend at the school. This kid stabbed himself with the pencil about 2 months after that happened. This was late 1997.

Roberted1982

​Most of the time, however, the weird kids are pretty d*mn funny.

Ok, but this takes a lot of skill.

Had a kid nicknamed "cheeseburger" in the grade ahead of me in high school. He got his nickname because when it was time for his class to go to lunch, he snuck into the roof and crawled his way into the cafeteria, dropped down and proceeded to steal all the cheeseburger put out for lunch. Unfortunately they caught him in the act and sent him to the principal's office.

A year later he was caught stealing a teacher's computer, and in the process of being arrested he bit the officers hand, getting him sent to juvi never to be heard of again.

Theonering1

Every school had the cat girl.

cat dragging GIF Giphy

The weird kid at my highschool tied a string around his pencil case and pulled out around the halls pretending it was a dog. He still lives in my hometown. I think unemployed.

Oh also weird girl in middle school acted like a cat. She would meow and hiss at people, lick the water fountain and rub her body on the teacher's legs. In 8th grade. I have no idea where she ended up.

SendmePMsofyourBMs

Mood.

Weird kid in elementary was a self proclaimed alien. Once, while waiting for the bus, she told me "On my planet we eat people like you" and proceeded to bite me. We later became friends in high school and she used to give me massages during lunch break in the quad. Just realized now she was likely tenderizing me.

Iheartrevolution

I was exactly this kind of weird.

He didn't say much, but if asked, he would go to the front of the class and perform Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with all of the emotion and volume of Tiny Tim, holding nothing back.

The last I heard, he became an energy trader, made a ton of money and married well.

10per

I can definitely relate to that last one. In middle school, my English teacher would let me go to the front of the class and perform monologues or songs from Broadway musicals. Weird, but that’s what happens when schools cut funding for the arts and the theatre kids have no outlet.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I say let your freak flag fly, man

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