Plants don't get a lot of respect, because frankly, they don't do shit. They just kind of sit there waiting to be eaten, right? They can't move or think or make their plans against us.
Actually, that's just what they want you to think. It turns out that plants are capable of some pretty sophisticated, even downright nefarious schemes. For instance ...
8Eucalyptus Trees Napalm Their Enemies
For most trees, fire is kind of a bad thing. Nothing burns better than a nice dry hunk of wood, and a tree is in no position to stop, drop and roll when you light a bonfire under it. The Australian eucalyptus tree takes advantage of this weakness in the same way as Schwarzenegger takes advantage of his enemies' vulnerability to bullets.
Koalas are endangered because eucalyptus has an anger-management problem.
Just like animals, plants compete with each other for space and territory, though most have only a limited ability to retaliate against some asshole fern setting up camp on their lawn. But when it comes to protecting their territory, eucalyptus trees have a scorched earth policy -- they not only are immune to forest fires, but also actively encourage them.
You see, the eucalyptus itself is designed specifically to be the only tree standing after a fiery apocalypse -- they have stems hidden deep inside their trunks, ready to spring out once the smoke clears. So it basically spends its life throwing around gasoline, waiting for a spark.
"I love the smell of us in the morning."
And we're not exaggerating -- eucalyptus contains a kind of oil that is so flammable that the trees can actually explode when they catch fire, like someone uttering a one-liner before flicking a cigar into a gas station. The leaf litter from eucalyptus trees is so full of toxic napalm that bugs and fungus don't break it down -- it just dries out and covers the ground like a super-flammable carpet. If that weren't enough, the trees produce a bluish-gray cloud of evaporated gas that can go up like a fireball with one lightning bolt or thoughtlessly discarded cigarette butt.
An ill-advised plantation of eucalyptus has been blamed for the 1991 firestorm in California that destroyed 3,000 homes, and it's no wonder -- eucalyptus is like that pyromaniac kid you knew in school who never left home without his matches. You know exactly who to blame when shit starts burning down in your neighborhood.
Eucalyptus: Nature's leafy arsonist.