Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii - Bengkulu - 21-April-2015Rafflesia Arnoldii - Lake-Maninjau - Sumatra-Indonesia - 1-09-99Rafflesia ArnoldiiModel of Rafflesia flower - Lee Kong Chian - Natural History Museum Singapore - 08-08-2015

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Rafflesia arnoldii, is the largest individual flower on Earth. It doesn’t have its own stems, leaves or roots. Parasites on vines of the Cissus genus, related to the vine. Deriving water and nutrients from the hosts. Rafflesia grows in a thicket of tropical jungles in Borneo and Sumatra.
It reaches a weight of 11 kg and a diameter of one meter. It consists of five fleshy, red, white speckled petals. Inside, it finds a few liters of nectar, and spike-like creations with an unknown function.
Rafflesia emit a specific, bad smell to rotten meat. In this way it attracts pollinating beetles and flies. That’s why the people of Indonesia call it a corpse flower. It blooms for 5-7 days, every few years. However, if pollinated, it produces round fruit. Containing thousands of tiny seeds.

Atropa belladonna – Most dangerous in Central Europe

Atropa belladonna - Botanic Garden - Leipzig, GermanyAtropa belladonna (2)Atropa belladonna (3)Atropa belladonna (4)

Atropa belladonna – Most dangerous in Central Europe

Atropa belladonna – This plant is considered the most dangerous in Central Europe. Its all parts are very toxic.

  • Deadly dose: 10 – 12 fruits
  • Death: in few hours
  • Poison: atropine, hyoscyamine
  • Aftermath: nervous system and heart rate weakness, stopping breathing
  • Where it grows: most of Europe, some places in Africa and Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

The big danger lies in the fact that its shiny fruits can be easily confused with edible forest fruits. Man can poison not only through direct consumption, but also through goat’s milk or meat, if animal earlier ate it. Typical symptoms of poisoning are dilated pupils, an accelerated pulse or redness on the face. There may also be hallucinations and loss of consciousness.

History of the plant:
Atropa belladonna was a component of shampoo drinks and ointments, because after applying to the skin it caused hallucinations – a man seemed to be able to fly.
In ancient Rome, the wives of Emperor Augustus and Claudius poisoned them with a shout. Medieval women applied drops of juice to their eyes. It was to guarantee them beautiful, large eyes. In this way, they risked not only conjunctivitis and eye deterioration, but death as well. Atropine in eye tests doctors are using today.

Drunk zebra finch

Drunk zebra finch - Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

Drunk zebra finch

Drunk zebra finch – Christopher Olson of the Oregon Health and Science University, conducted an experiment on the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), to learn and make sounds in a manner similar to humans. Males were divided into two groups. The first group was treated fruit juice for 4 days and the other was added to the juice 6.5% alcohol. Birds that consumed alcohol, singing slower, quieter and less clearly.

Brazilian nut – Stores barium and radium

Brazilian nut - Brazilian nut (Bertholletia excelsa)

Brazilian nut – Stores barium and radium

Brazilian nut – Stores barium and radium – Brazilian nut tree called (Bertholletia excelsa). Has a special feature: a substrate absorbs and stores barium and radium. This causes its fruits valued for their flavor and a fat content of 50%. Are a thousand times more radioactive than other foods. It is recommended to eat maximum two Brazil nuts a day.

Lemonade containing lemons

Lemonade containing lemons - Lemon

Lemonade containing lemons

Lemonade containing lemons – Lemons on a package of lemonade in the name. And yet in lemon lemonade sometimes there is not a trace of lemon. Instead: food additives, flavorings and citric acid. Which can be obtained in the industrial production of sugar-containing raw materials such as corn or beet molasses.