Sunday, November 20, 2011

Man Eating Plants

Among the things you don't see much in adventure anymore, especially since the popularity of the Little Shop of Horrors musical from the movie of the same name, is the man-eating plant. According to Wikipedia, this jungle horror refers to " various legendary or cryptid carnivorous plants that are large enough to kill and consume a person or other large animal. In actuality, the carnivorous plant with the largest known traps is probably Nepenthes rajah which produces pitchers up to 38 cm (15 in) tall with a volume of up to 3.5 litres... This species may rarely trap small mammals..."

Usually attributed to an alleged letter written in the late 19th Century by a man named Carle Liche, which was reportedly printed in many journals of the day. According to this letter, Liche had been invited to a ritual by the cave-dwelling Mkoko tribesmen of Madagascar. Taken to a bend in a jungle river, Liche saw one of these dreaded brown man-eating trees growing 8 feet tall and shaped like a pineapple. With 12-foot leaves growing from the top and drooping to the ground, this hideous thing had spikes in its exposed sides and tendrils waved out from within. Liche wrote that he witnessed the woman to be sacrificed climbing to the top of the tree where she drank an oozing green liquid produced by the tree. As she drank, the long leaves wrapped around her body, enclosing her. The next thing Liche knew, the green fluid and the woman's blood were flowing down the tree and the Mkoko men began to enthusiastically lap it up like dogs. This intoxicated them into a 'hideous orgy' in which Liche elected not to participate.



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