We all know that Mother Nature has her bad days just like everyone else. Either that or she has a unique sense of humour. Or maybe it’s a little of both. Whatever it is, the result is still the same – plants that can send shivers down your spine. Here are a few of them that made it to our list.
This is a citrus fruit that looks like badly swelled up yellow fingers – should one have more than five fingers on a hand that is. Some have gone so far as to call it the Edward Scissorhands of citrus fruits. With barely any pulp or juice, the Buddha’s Hand is used mainly for decorative purposes or for its flavoursome zest. As disgusting as they look and feel, these fruits also emit a fragrance that should make up for its looks. After all, isn’t what’s on the inside that counts the most?
The name says it all: doll’s eyes – lots of them, staring at you from every angle. They are also called white baneberry but why make them sound harmless. These things (not sure if they should be called plants) look like the trophy case of a serial killer who decided to save space and stick as many eyeballs as possible onto a branch. If you were thinking of popping one of these into your mouth, don’t. They are highly poisonous. Who would have guessed?
Looking like a wad of chewing gum covered in blood, this fungus does not usually remind one of teeth but I guess “bleeding chewing gum fungus” wouldn’t have sounded as creepy. It is something you would expect to appear in a horror movie while the character falls on their face while being chased in the dark. If that wasn’t creepy enough, the bleeding tooth fungus also swallows anything around it in order to grow. Twigs, leaves, seeds, and probably human flesh too if you would like to experiment with that theory.
Some people find bats cute while most of the world finds them downright creepy – who can blame them? For some reason Mother Nature has decided to produce ‘flowers’ that look like bats, complete with waving tentacles. Not sure whom she was trying to scare off when making these plants but it definitely does the job. After all that, there are still those who plant these flowers in their gardens because they WANT to – probably those bat lovers mentioned earlier.
While it doesn’t look too bad when fully grown (compared to when it’s growing), the fledgling stage of this plant sends shivers down one’s spine. There is no nice way of phrasing this. It looks like a blackened potato with worms sticking out of it. This plant is actually a fungal disease that occurs in apple trees or in eastern red cedars where spores produced on an apple tree can only infect cedars and vice versa.
The name of this plant is self-explanatory. When the egg erupts, four to seven tentacles unfold from it to reveal a pinkish interior. Doesn’t sound that bad does it? Wait till it matures. That is when its smell of putrid flesh emerges. Like it’s namesake, the octopus stinkhorn is edible but only in its egg stage and only for survival in the wilderness. Bear in mind that while edible, it is a far cry from the Japanese delicacy as it both tastes and smells foul.
Coming from the same family as the Octopus Stinkhorn, this fungus is recognizable by its odour of rotting flesh. It even has the same last name – Stinkhorn. These plants are found in mulch in gardens and grassy areas. Similar to the Octopus Stinkhorn, they mature from an egg and sprout tentacles, though not as defined as their relative’s. Owh, and guess what? Both of these plants originated in Australia – surprised?
Photo credits: Alan Rockefeller, xeni, blueridgekitties, Navaneeth Krishnan, wackyland, dogtooth77, François Van Der Biest, lonqueta