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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Carnivorous Flowers

I personally hate roses. They’re cliché, ugly, and they smell bad. I would prefer a guy with a little bit of imagination, who would give out a wildflower or two. Better-yet I would like a Venus fly trap. But how exactly do these monstrosities work? If you touched one would it eat your finger? Are they plant or animal? The “Scopolamine Addiction” is here to answer these burning questions.

Actually as it turns out, carnivorous plants are not that uncommon. The Venus Flytrap was named after the Roman goddess Venus, who stands for love and money. The botanists thought that the plant displayed the same female qualities and named it accordingly. Plants don’t have complex nervous systems that tell them to grab a pizza. As a bug touches a hair or two on the leaves, a reaction triggers causing the cells to compress and the trap to close down on its prey. As the insect moves about, caught, the flytrap knows to clamp down harder. That way it isn’t just chomping down on random debris.

If an unwanted object does enter into the mouth, the flytrap keeps its ‘mouth’ open till the object falls out or is blown away by the wind. One must keep in mind that the plant can’t spit out stuff that is inedible, nor even be able to decipher what is inedible and what is not. Imagine what it would be like to have something inedible stuck in your open mouth until it blew away, all the while flying pizzas and ice-creams were landing all over. For this reason the plant, though seemingly not to messed with, is weak evolutionarily and almost extinct. To digest, the trap bathes the insect in digestive acids for about 12 days and sucks out the nutrients. Then reopens and waits for skeleton of the prey to wash away with the rain, or be blown by the wind.

Venus Flytraps can be bought at some flower shops, or you can even grow your own. Seeds are available online. But be careful, who you’re giving them to, they may appreciate the plant’s exotic beauty. And make sure you don’t feed the poor thing hamburger meat, it’ll die. However, if you would like to feed it your own skin, it will gladly accept. So if for some reason, scientists decided to create an inordinately large flytrap, you would probably have situation like The Little Shop of Horrors. Finally, they are endangered, so please don’t pick them out of the ground, if you’re strolling through the Amazon or Wilmington, North Carolina, the two main areas where these grow.