Although we have a long list of plants we can enjoy as food, as building materials or for attraction of pollinators, some plants are better away from us.
These are plants which can harm us, like this innocent-looking but dangerous dendrocnide moroides plant of the Urticaceae family.
It’s a green and leafy bush with heart-shaped foliage and it’s common in rainforests and in the north east of Australia, Moluccas, and Indonesia.
It’s covered with hair-like and hollow stinging needles which contain a potent neurotoxin which can cause excessive pain.
Itching so Painful that It Has Killed Dogs & Horses
This extreme itching and pain has been the culprit for the deaths of horses, dogs, and has driven humans mad and in agony.
Namely, its active compound known as moroidin is so strong that it can torture its victims for a year if the stings aren’t removed from the skin!
Believe it or not, even dry specimens that have been preserved for decades were still maintaining their potency.
According to Dr. Mike Leahy from Oddity Central, the first thing you feel after being stung with it is a strong burning sensation which increases in the next 30 minutes and the pain elevates as well.
Then, you start to feel a pain in the joints and experience swelling under the armpits, which can be as painful as the sting itself.
And, in serious cases, this pain can lead to shock and death even!
Horses who’ve been stung with it have been known to die within hours and even jumping off cliffs to escape from the immense suffering.
And, one man shot himself to stop the pain after he foolishly used the leaf instead of toilet paper.
Marina Hurley, entomologist and ecologist who studies species of stinging trees in Australia has described the gympie-gympie’s effects with being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted in the same time!
However, some marsupial species, birds, and insects can consume the plant and its parts without any problem.
Is there a Remedy for Being Stung with Gympie-Gympie?
Applying diluted hydrochloric acid to the exposed area may help and also pulling the tiny hairs using a wax hair removal strip.