I'd been walking through a quiet and peaceful botanical garden when it sounded like something blew up not far from me. What's going on??
A millisecond later I heard something whizzing overhead--an angry bee sound of something passing overhead at high speed.
It seemed unlikely that anyone was shooting at me--this was the Waimea Arboretum after all--but I couldn't just ignore this high velocity drama overhead.
|Waimea Arboretum Pond
I DO remember seeing a sign about a "dangerous tree" on the garden pathway, but I'd just assumed it might fall down onto the path, not that it might fire high velocity projectiles in my general direction. I thought it would be a peaceful stroll, not the wild west!
Still, I should have suspected something like this. Just a week before I'd been looking at the seed pod of a clover-like weed in my front garden. To my surprise, when I touched the long, oblong seed pod, lots of tiny seeds zipped past my poking fingers and pattered on the nearby foliage. Luckily, these seeds were about the size of poppy seeds, so there was no possible harm.
I never did figure out what that high-velocity plant particle was in Waimea. More generally, are there other plants like that? Are there other plants capable of suddenly spewing out parts of themselves at high speed?
The Challenges today:
1. Are there, in fact, dangerous trees that can somehow eject sharp bits of themselves, potentially hurting a human being? (If so... HOW would it do this? So far as I know, few plants - venus fly traps aside - are capable of much movement.)
2. More generally, are there other plants that can hurl seeds? You can imagine this might be a handy evolutionary mechanism to have--but again, how would that seed-hurling mechanism actually work? Do they have little plant muscles??
Let us know what you discover. It seems improbable, but I'll be searching with you this week, trying to see what we can discover about potentially dangerous plants!
P.S. BTW .... There was a bug in last week's Challenge. When I wrote the Challenge, I know there was EXIF metadata on the last image--but something obviously changed. I'm in the process of debugging it right now. I'll let you know what I find out in an upcoming post.