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Cannibal Plant (1891)

Cannibal Plant (1891)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Sydney Morning Herald 1891 (Dec 14)
Sydney Morning Herald 1891 (Dec 14)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 22, 2013
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08/18/2014

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Monday 14 December 1891, page 8National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13863399
ACANNIBALPLANT.
*
I->
(Erom
theSpectator.)
Someyears
ago,
a
strikingstory
was
published
in
Franco
describing
a
yy
ondortul
flesh-eatingplantdis-
coveredby
a
greathotaniatIf
yyo
romombor
rightly,thestory
recounted
how
a
certaincollectordiscoyored
a
plant
ofthofly-trapspeciesof
so
gigantic
aaire
thot
it
could
consumo
hugo
mosses
of
niyy
meat.Just
aa
thofly-catchingplantsnapsup
a
fly
anddrawsnutrimentfromtho
lly s
dead
body,
sothisono
ted
itselfon
tholegsofmuttonandsirloinsofhoofyyhich
wore
thron
n
into
its
ny
emng
maw
îho
liotanist
ni
thostory,for
some
reason
possiblyfearof
having
his
plantdestrojed
as
dangerous
to
publicsafety,
keeps
tho
o
.istcncoof
thoplant
u
secret,midrescrycsit
in
a
loikod-up
conservatoryHis
yyifoon
oy
er,
yy
ho
m
mademiserable
by
hisabsorption
ot
mind-ho
thinksof
nothing
huthowtofeedand
ím
provohis
wonderfuland
fascinating
plant
determinestofolloyylinnibis
sho
does,
accompanied
by
an
old
school-mend
of
thohusband
Whonthopairroachthe
inner
consoryaterythey
seo
totheirhorrorthe
in-
fatuated
botanisttossing
bleeding
jointsof
rayv
meatintothe
hugojaws
of
a
giantfly-trap
Ihoy
aro
at
first
petrified
yy
ithhorror.At
last,
hoys
oy
er,
tho
yvifo
throws
herselfintotho
arms
ofher
husband,
and
im-
ploreshimtogiyoup
dyyolhngupon
thohorrible
car-nivorous
monstresuj
yyhichhehasdiscoyoredandreared
Unfortunately,
hoyy
ey
cr,
thewif
oin
appeal-
ingtohor
hush,
nil
goestoocloietotheplantIts
hugo
tcutaclcs
surround
herand
thouproceed
to
drugher
m,
and
tho
o
stupolled
mon
BOO
thopimt
bogiu
to
devour
its
yictim1orlunatcly,howeyer,thofriendcatchessightof
an
axe
lying
noir,
undseizingthishostrikesatthorootsofthoplantife»lrcnriodbio«
s
dothonocossary
yy
ork,andtho
flcsh
catingplanttumbles
totho
ground
andreluises
iromits
clutchesthoterrified
yy
oman
rhobotanist,ho«.
-
evor,cannot
slimy
o
hismostdieri
shod
discovery.,
and
withthe
exclamation
 Youhayekilledmyplant
 
ho
fallsback
deadTho
stoiy
is
goodenough
nsa
story,
biijt
ifwoal-
tobehove
an
articlo
s
ad
in
tho
Ra
tew
ofRei
\eu
s
tobo
taken
from
/.«i
i
fer-yyo
say saul adyisedlj,
becauao
yyo
hayo
looked
in
thoOctobor
Luct/ei
and
can
lind
no
such
article,
and
therefore
presume
theremustbo
some
mistake-it
is
onlyauotherinstanceofAction
being
prophetic,
and
anticipating
scioutiflo
dis-covery
According
tothuarticle
quoted
by
MrStead,therehasbeendiscovered
in
-Nicaragua
a
flesh
oatmg,
or
rather
man-eating
plant,windifor
horror
is
quitethe
equal
ofthonovelist s
imagination
i
his
plant
is
found,
it
is
assorted,
in
Nicaragua,
and
is
called
bj
thenatiyo.
 
thodevil s
Bnaro
 
Inform
it
isa
kind
of
y
ogotable
octopus
or
dovil-fiah,aud
is
ablotodrainthebloodof
any
livingthing
vv
hich
comes
within
its
clutches
We
give
ino
-.tory
yvitk
all
reservo,but
it
mustbo
admitted
tobocircurustuiitiul
enough
in
allits
detailstobopossibloItappearsthat
a
Mr
Dunstan,
a
naturalist,
has
lately
returned
from
CentralAmerica,
yy
hero
ho
spent
twoyears
in
thostudy
ofthoplants
and
animalsofthonoregionsIn
one
oftho
sivamps
yyhich
surround
tho
gre.it
NicaraguaLake,ho
discoyercdthesiugulaigroy«
th
of
which
we
aro
writing
 
Ho
yvas
engipod
in
hunt-ingforbotanicaland
ontomologicalspocunens
n
hen
he
hoard
his
dog
ciyout,
ns
if
in
agony,fiom
it
distance
Running
to
tho
spot
yy
hence
tho
animal s
cries
carne,Mr
Dunstanfound
bun
cny
doped
ma
perfectnet»orkof
yy
hatseemedto
bo
i
linerope
hko
tissue
of
roots
and
libios
Iho
plant
or
vino
Ecemod
composed
entirely
ot
bnrointerlacingstems,rcbembling,
moro
thananything
else,
thebranchesoftho
yy
eopuig-yy
illoyy
denuded
of
its
fobago,
but
of
a
dark.nourljblack
liuo,
andcovered
yvith
a
thiel,
y
iscid
gum
thatotuded
fromthopores
 
Drayyiug
hisknife,MrDunstiu
attempted
tocut
tho
poorheistfreo,but
it
yvas
yyith
the
y
orygreatestdiihculty
that
ho
managed
to
toycr
thefleshy
muscular
libres
ot
the
plant
Whon
tho
dog
yyas
extricatedfromthe
colls
ofthoplant,
Mr
Dunstansaw,tohishonorandomn_cinei.t,that
the
dog s
body
wai,
bloidstainod,
 
whilotheskin
ap
poirodto
hay
o
beenactually
sucked
or
puckered
in
spots
 
and
thoanimal
staggered
as
it
from
ex-
haustion
 
Incuttingthe
yme
thetyyigscurled
likeliymg
sinuous
fingersaboutAliDunstan
s
hand,nnd
it
required
no
slight
loree
to
lreo
thomember
I
nnd
it
required
no
slight
loree
to
lreo
thomemberfrom
its
clinginggrasp,which
loft
tho
flesh
rod
and
blisteredrhogum
exuding
fromtho
vinowas
of
a
grcjish-darkUngo,remirkablj
adhosiyo,und
of
a
disagreeable,
animal
odour,ponoriul
and
nauseat-
ing
to
inhalo
Ihonatives,
yyoare
told,showodthegreatesthorrorofthoplant
yy
hich,
anyyo
havenoted
aboye,
tileycallodtho doy
ils
snare, and
theyrecounted
tothenaturalist
many
.tonesof
its
death-dealing
powersMr
Dunstan,
y\o
ino
told,
was
ablotodiscoy
cry
cry
little
about
thenatureof
the
plnnt,owiugtothodifficulty
ofhandling
it
for
its
grasp
can
onlybe
shaken
off
with
tholossofskin,and
ey
cn
of
flesh
As
nearas
he
couldascertain,
howey
or,its
poner
ofsuction
is
contained m
a
numbor
of
iiinmtcBimulmouths
or
httlosuckers,yyhich,ordinarilyclosedopcu
tor
tho
locoptionof
food
 
Ifthosubstanco
is
animal,theblood
is
drawn
off,
andtho
carcass
or
refusethon
droppod
A
lump
of
raw
meat
bomgthrown
it,m
theshort
Bunco
ofhvominutesthebloodwillbo
thoroughly
(hunkoff
and
the
mass
tin
own
asideItsvoracity
is
almostbeyondbohof
 
Tho
story
is
unquestionably
a
very
curious
one,
and
we
mayrolyupon
it
that
if
tho
plant
reallydoesexist,
yy
e
shall
soon
haye
a
spoennen
at
KowThedigging
ofthe
NicaraguaCanalwdlbringplenty
ofAmericansaud
Englishmen
intothovery
countrywhere
the
 
vampire
vine is
Baidtoexist,
aud
thequestionwhetherthe
yy
hole
thing
is
or
is
not
a
hoax
may
very
Boon
botestedThisfact
makes,
we
readily
admit,
y
ery
much
in
tavour
ofthotruthofthostorySincethoshoresofthe
Nicaragua
Lake
aroBO
soon
teboexplored,
it
yy
ouldhaveboenfarsaferfor
a
botanicalpractical
joker
to
hayo
 seated
 
hisplant
in
thatnaturalhomoofunvenflnblostrange
Btories,
tho
Upper
Valley
oftheAmazon
Thoneighbourhood
inhabitedbjthat
Amazonian
tribe
who,bj
the
use
of
nomo
secretprocess
can
roduco
a
humancorpsoto
a
tenthof
its
originalnue,
and
so
produce
a
perfectly
proportionedminiature
mummyoftho
dead
man,
would
hayobi_n
a
good
locality
in
«Inchto
 
place
 
thetaloof
thocannibalplantAgain,Nicaragua
ID
yvithiuthoPrepics,
andplant-hfo
there
is
thereforespeciallygross
undyigorous
Besides,there
is
no
inherentimpossi-bility
in
the
ideaof
a
tlosh-oating
plant
It
is
morely
a
question
as
to
whether
ey
olutionhas
or
hasnot
happened
todevclopthofly-eatingplant
ona
Bufll
cicntlylargo
enough
scaletodo
«
hat
is
relatedofthe
Arampire
vine
S o
one
yyhohas
Been
the
ugly
snap
which
thattinyvegetablecrab,
Vcnus s
flj
trap,gives
yvhen
thehairs
msido
its
mouth
aro
tickled
by
thehumanfinger
in
the
way
that
a
ä_y
yvouldticklethom
bywalking,
can
doubtfor
a
moment
thatthodoyolopnientof
a
plant
capable
ofeating
or
sucking
thebloodof
aman
13
only
a
matterof
degree
Even
in
England
there
aie
plantswhichact
ona
small
scaleexactlytho
part
assortedtobo
playod
by
tho
Vampire
Vinofor
oxample,
Lathram
equamaria,
thetoothwort, apalechlorophyl-lessparasite,found
in
Bntwhwoods
 
The
accountoftho
plant
given
by
MrG
AThomson,
in
Chambeit tLntudopicdia,
is
as
follows
-
Excepting
theflower-etalk,thestalk
is
virtuallj
underground
,
it
bearssuctorialroots
and
tenthlikeleay
es
Thelatter
aro
hollovv,and
aro
enteredthrough
ft
narrow
aporturo
by
m
iny
kindsofsmall
animals
Iheso
soemto
be
entangled
in
proto-
plasmic
exudations
yy
lthmtheloaf-cayity,findexitimposstblo,die,
decompose,
and
aro
absorbed
 
Eyon
more
rcniarknblo
is
MrThomson
s
accountofthe
car-un
orous
prochyitiesofthobutternort
This
plantsecretes
 
a
copiousviscidacidBocretionto
entrap
its
yictimsflus
serves
as
 
lnsoct-hmo
,
but
besidesretainingtho
unw
ary
nudges,
it
finallydigeststhom.
Drops
otrain
maj
fall
on
the
hayes,
or
pobblesmay
land
there,but
without
notoivorthj
effect
Asmallinsect,
however,
stimulates
a
copiousflowofthefatalsocrotionBut
thoroisalBomoyoment,
for,íyhen
an
insect
is
caught,thomarginoftheleay
os
BIOIVIJ
curl
ni«
ardsfor
an
hour
or
tyvo,
thus
surrounding
the
booty
or
shifting
it
noarcr
thocentre,
in
any
case
exposing
it
to
moro
gUnds
Afterdiges-tion,theresultsandthesurplusexudation
aro
absorbed,leaving
finally
theundigested
skinof
tho
insect
on
the
moreorloss
dryleafsurface
 
Ityyillbe
noted
that
this,
m
miniature,
is
almostexactlythoprocess
adopted
bythe
Nicaruguuu
carnivorous
creeperIf
thespociesofinsect
eating
plants
yy
ero
yerjfoiv
m
number,
and
yvero
veryBparsolyfound,
it
might
bopossiblete
regard
them
as
morelus
w
»¡tillite
There
aro,howey
cr,
Luonnto
bo
soyel
al
hundred
dicotyledons
which,
in
some
wayor
foodFrom

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