Those 'Chinese Mystery Seeds' Are Probably Normal Seeds (But Maybe Still Worry)

Those 'Chinese Mystery Seeds' Are Probably Normal Seeds (But Maybe Still Worry)

Among the list of random mystery items you could find in your mailbox, many of which could be described as "severed," a packet of seeds is possibly the most innocuous. You can literally throw them on the ground, or -- if you're a more chaotic type -- put them in a pot and cross your fingers for musical theater monsters.

Fortunately, some of the people who recently started receiving unsolicited packets of seeds from China had the presence of mind to bring them to authorities' attention. Exotic flora may not seem like a government matter, but they could have been invasive species, which can rain down considerably less funky but just as catastrophic destruction as Audrey II. Weirdly, though, the analyzed seeds have been found to be harmless. Just your average roses and cabbage and shit. 

So why is some anonymous benefactor sending random folks free pre-food? Are they some kind of eccentric millionaire who hit "home gardening crusade" on the ol' Dartboard-O-Boredom this month?

Sadly, no. If you received one of these packets -- and people from all 50 states have reported them -- it's likely that "your identity has been compromised," according to a Better Business Bureau official. It's probably part of a scam known as "brushing," in which online businesses send out a bunch of free merchandise so they can post verified reviews as "you," since "you" technically did receive the product. You may not be at risk of falling victim to your own soul-singing garden, but it probably means your address (along with a whole mess of other personal information) is out there for the taking. This applies to any item you might receive without ordering, from Roombas to ping pong balls

On the bright side, while you might have to deal with a potentially years-long battle to get your identity back, you get to keep the Roomba. Paint little teeth and angry eyebrows on him, call him Goomba, and hum the "Underground Theme" while you jump over him as he skates across the carpet. You've earned it.

Top image: Unsplash/Joshua Lanzarini

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