#5. Porcupine Tomato
The porcupine tomato is one of the crops you'll find growing in Pinhead's vegetable patch after he retires from abstract horror and turns to horticulture. It hails from Madagascar, the island nation that brought us the Hellbeast lemur and Dracula ants, earning it the Cracked.com nickname "Little Australia."
Quick, take a picture of the word "pain." Good job.
Aside from being sharp and poisonous, the porcupine tomato is a potentially invasive species, since it is difficult to kill, even in drought. Among the features you don't want in a poisonous dagger monster, "hard to kill" has to be way up there.
Did we mention that it spreads quickly, and can reach 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide in a relatively short amount of time? What we're saying is that you should be careful stepping out your front door in the morning, because you never know when a toxic, razor-filled hedge may have sprung up in the middle of the night.
#4. Cedar-Apple Rust Fungus
What looks like a piece of rotting fruit giving birth to either a family of worms or a single, tentatcled horror? If you said "cedar-apple rust fungus," then ... well, you probably just read the title of this entry, we guess.
CARF is a fungal infection that attacks, you guessed it, cedar and apple trees. It produces globular fungal balls anywhere from a 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter and inflates "spore horns" when the weather gets wet, transforming it into the Koosh ball from hell. Or, if you prefer, gummi Cthulhu.
Or what happens when slugs mate with mac and cheese.
#3. Buddha's Hand
We don't know what kind of Buddha they were thinking of whose hand looks like a writhing ball of giant maggots. It looks more like what Brian Lumley envisions when his wife asks him to pick up a bushel of grapefruit.
Buddha's hand is a citrus fruit popular in China and Japan for its strong fragrance. It fails as a fruit since it's pretty much all zest and no pulp, but it has other uses, such as being a feature in Stephen King's fruit basket centerpiece.
#2. Chinese Fleeceflower
The Chinese use this plant in their traditional medicine for kidney health, strong bones and hair restoration, and as a mild laxative, and it's ... Hey, wait a second ...
OK, weird, it's a root that looks like a little dude. But that's a rare, onetime fluke, right? It's not like that's what this species typically looks like or anything.
OK, now nature is just straight fucking with us. According to traditional Chinese herbalists, these little dirt trolls are a cure-all for everything from high cholesterol to vaginal discharge ...
They also ... um ...
We here at ... uh ...
We don't know. We just don't know.
#1. Various Dick-Shaped Plants
This will make us feel better.
First off, we have the above Peter Popper Red Hot Peppers, and yes, that is a link to Amazon, where you can pick your own peck of pecker peppers.
Then we have the below mushroom, which is actually related to the Cthulhu mushrooms further up the list. It's a common stinkhorn, though its proper name is Phallus impudicus, literally, immodest wang.
Next is the penis cactus, a variation on a Bolivian cactus that breeders have encouraged. That's right, someone actually discovered a mutant variety of cactus that looked like dick and worked to encourage it. Makes that hunt for the boob-shaped watermelon you've been on since you were 15 seem almost noble, doesn't it?
We'll just leave the rest of these here:
Stay classy, nature.
There's plenty more dick-shaped hilarity in our new book, and we know that's what you're into.
And stop by Linkstorm to look at the cute things Mother Nature has to offer.
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