Sunday, April 19, 2009

We're all just a bunch of big walking greenhouses

When I was a kid, my great-grandmother would always tell me I shouldn't swallow seeds or pits. She'd say it would make a plant grow out of my head.
I assumed she was joking, but still got a kick out of the mental image of a cherry tree growing out of my skull. Or maybe a few nice strawberry plants. Add some raspberries and I could have tasty vitamin-packed snacks whenever I wanted.
How convenient!

Then, many years later, mom told me about some kid who really DID have something growing in his skull. He was dumb enough to stick a kidney bean up his nose, and the bean started sprouting in his sinus cavity. (Accgghh! Shudder! Twitch! Twitch!)
If I remember correctly, they had to surgically remove it.

And then, I happened to find this story about a grown man who had a fir tree growing in his lung. (!!!) The story says he apparently inhaled a small bud, and it took root. They had to remove that section of his lung. Click on the link for a rather disgusting picture of it.
Here's the part that makes me a little confused:
How did it grow without sunlight? I can see how it would have had plenty of nutrients and moisture, but don't plants die without sunlight?


CrAzY Working Mom said...

I also saw this story, but I have a hard time believing that he just inhaled a seed and it began to grow. I dunno...

Janna said...

CWM: I haven't quite decided whether I believe it or not. I mean, the picture's right there, but how could it have grown in total darkness like that and still be green?

Marilyn said...

5 cm is only about 2 inches, I think, so it might be able to get that big on the energy stored in it, but it's a stretch. I wonder if it would use blood sugars the way it could use sugars from the tree. I think they are the wrong kind. I think it all would have had to happen fairly quickly if the thing was at all green still.

Seems like a very strange thing to make up. I dunno.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Freaky stuff...I heard about that as well, and now I'm afraid to breathe.

Da Old Man said...

And everyone wonders why I wear a gas mask all the time.

My Autism Insights said...

I think plants are okay without light until they sprout through the surface. So gross though.

Janna said...

Marilyn: Fascinating, isn't it?

Mary: You can breathe as long as you limit it to exhaling only.

DaOldMan: I thought that was because of all the farts.

MyAutismInsights: I wonder how long it sat there before he noticed!

Travis said...

People always told me not to swallow the seeds because something would grow in my tummy.

whall said...

Clearly the guy also inhaled a lot of pet hair in order for the fir tree to grow.

Janna said...

Travis: I think I heard that one a few times too!

Whall: With all the cat hair wafting around my home, I'm surprised I don't have a few litters of kittens in each lung.