When most people think of plants, they picture beautiful beds of flowers or sturdy trees to fill out a front lawn. Most don't picture savage organisms that can destroy you almost instantly - but it's completely true.
Some deadly plants get into your food, some produce deadly toxins that can be transferred through touch. These most deadly plants seem like they have a mean streak in them, and with the way they go out of their way to end you, you'd be right to be a little afraid.
Some of the most dangerous plants are pretty or unassuming, and can get into your system simply because they seem harmless. After all, who would think a pretty blue flower would kill you upon being picked, or that taking shelter from the rain under a tree would end in blindness?
So, if you're ready to learn about dangerous plants, and hopefully learn to avoid them, read on. You may find out some of these plants are ones you've come in contact with before!
The Manchineel Tree Can Cause Death Just By Standing Near It
This tree, often found in Central and South America, is also sometimes called the "Death Apple," and for very good reason. For one thing, it supposedly killed Juan Ponce de Leon. The small apples that grow on the branches may look appetizing, but they are deadly poisonous. Even a single bite can knock you out like Snow White, but this time a kiss from a handsome prince won't wake you up.
But this tree isn't just deadly if you eat from it. Even being near a Manchineel tree can spell doom for you. Touching the trunk or sap, picking leaves, and even breathing the air in its vicinity can cause severe burns on your skin. Get any of that in your eyes, and you can go blind. And if it's raining, you're in for even more trouble: the water that drips on you from the tree can injure you. Even the air around it can cause a pain in your lungs, meaning that this tree is harmful and even deadly without you having to eat from it or touch it.
You probably know that both poison oak and poison ivy can be a serious pain. It itches, leaves blisters and rashes on your skin, and can even leave scarring in extreme cases. And all you have to do is accidentally rub up against it. But, surprisingly, these frustrating plants can also, in very rare cases, cause death.
Both poison oak and ivy like to curl up next to, or in the midst of, other plants. This means if someone is trying to burn a patch of land clear, they can also end up burning some poison oak or poison ivy. Big mistake. The smoke from these plants when burned can get into your lungs and throat, and can cause a reaction so strong your throat will swell shut and you'll die. Really, ingesting enough of the oils in any way can cause death, though luckily most often it's just painful and annoying.
The Rosary Pea Is The Nightmare Of Jewelers Worldwide
The rosary pea is commonly listed as one of the most poisonous plants in the world, and it's earned that name. Even eating a single cracked pea can cause death, despite their inviting red color. That being said, this pea kills one type of person more than others - and it doesn't happen by eating.
For centuries jewelers have used this pea as a bead because of its unique colors and shapes. The act of making it into a bead is incredibly risky. Using a needle, these jewelry makers try to poke a hole through the pea which requires incredibly steady hands. All it takes is one slip and they can prick their finger with the contaminated needle. The poison from the pea then enters the bloodstream leading to death. There are many reports of jewelers dying after pricking their finger while trying to make things using the rosary pea.
Giant Hogweed - Britain's Most Deadly Plant
It's true that giant hogweed is a pretty cool looking plant. It can grow up to six feet in height and has white flowers on top, looking like some sort of prehistoric giant. But, of course looks can be deceiving and the sap of this plant is intensely toxic. It can cause severe burns and even blistering if it touches your bare skin, but symptoms only show up when the skin is exposed to sunlight. If the sap gets in your eyes, it can cause you to go blind. Most of all, it you step on this plant or it gets into your blood, it can cause your quick and painful death.
In the UK, it is a criminal offense to plant them, for good reason. They kill children every year and are known as the most dangerous plant in Britain. To top it off, this plant likes to spread like crazy. It can produce up to 50,000 seeds per year and is incredibly invasive, so watch your step out there.