Fortean Plants (Carnivorous; Man-Eating)

A

Anonymous

Guest
#1
man eating plant

has anyone heard of the man eating plant of south america. apparently, there is a large plant that feeds on humans, rather than the typical insects. its tendrils uncoil and lay on the ground. they are armed with sharp spikes, and when a unwary human comes along, they coil up and he is slowly digested. nice. i was just wodneirng if anyone knows much mroe about it? it sounds rather interesting, not to mention terrifying.
 

brianellwood

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 10, 2001
Messages
722
Likes
11
Points
49
#2
Used to read lots of comics when I was a kid & in one strip there was a plant exactly as you described which tried to eat a woman . She is rescued by our intrepid hunter chap circa late 1940's Sounds like an ul.
 

naitaka

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 21, 2001
Messages
432
Likes
17
Points
49
#3
The description sounds like the 'man-eating plant of Madagascar'.
Dr. Roy P. Mackal devoted a chapter to it in his crypto classic, Searching for Hidden Animals (1980).

He traced it to a letter supposedly written by a German traveller in 1878. The letter was published in a popular magazine, and republished numerous times over the years, each time with new details and embellishments - the traveller became 'an eminent scientist', the popular magazine became a scientific journal, etc.

The story came to wide attention in 1920, when it was published in a US magazine, American Weekly, complete with lurid illustrations. It was this version that found its way into comic books and pulp magazines.

Mackal thinks the story might have been inspired by a grotesque looking (but non-carnivorous) African plant, welwitschia mirabilis of Namibia, which has 5-meter long leaves extending from a 2-meter wide reservoir which serves to collect rain.

Not much on the web about it. A brief mention on this site:
http://www.angelfire.com/pq/cryptozoologix/carnivorous.html
 

Bullseye

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Mar 8, 2002
Messages
906
Likes
215
Points
74
#4
Man eater

Sorry but there are no man eaters out there, I used to keep a wide selection of ordinary carnivorous plants, the biggest of which could eat a small frog:(
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
I always wondered, what happens if you put your finger in a carnivorous plant? Does it chow down on your knuckles or nibble your finger nails?
 

Mike_Pratt33

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
623
Likes
3
Points
49
#6
I'm sure of seen film of this plant.

Unfortunately the film in question was an early Tarzan movie. Those films had lots of other monsters, for example spiders big enough to catch people in their webs .
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#8
There are a few man eating plant stories around. The one I remember most vividly is 'The Flowering of the Strange Orchid' by H.G. Wells. Scared the daylights out of me when I read it as a kid, that did. I may be misremembering this, but I am fairly certain that there is a particular type of tree(?) found in some tropical rain forests which exudes a defensive slime from it's bark which contains a substance which breaks down the proteins that constitute skin, including human skin. As I remember it literally digests the skin. The component in the slime which does this is the same as that which our stomachs produce to digest food - and, sod it, I've just gone blank on it's name. Oh, well.

I wouldn't mind if somebody who knows about this spoke up, just so I know I haven't developed a bit of a case of false memory syndrome and am rectally verbalising.
:confused:
 

evilsprout

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
1,218
Likes
28
Points
69
#9
From Karl Shuker's 'The Unexplained' [Karl Shuker (1998], The Unexplained, Colour Library Direct, Surrey, p101]

When the amazing Venus flytrap was first brought to scientific attention during the 1760s, sceptical botanists initially refused to believe that this extraordinary plant could actually capture and consume insects, until they saw it happen. A century later, in 1878, Polish biologist Dr Omelius Fredlowski received a letter from German explorer Carle Liche who claimed to have seen a much bigger and deadlier carnivorous plant when visiting Madagascar: he asserted that he had watched in horror as local inhabitants sacrificed a living woman to this monstrous tree!

Liche likened the tree to a pineapple, but standing 2.5 meteres high and thick in proportion, with eight leaves hanging from its apex, each about 3.5 metres long and tapering to a sharp point. A clear treacly liquid with highly intoxicationg properties trickled into a pair of concave plates arranged one inside the other. These comprised the apex of the tree, and from beneath the rim of the bottom plate a series of hairy green 2.5-metre-long tendrils stretched out in every direction. Above these, six extremely think tentacle-like feelers, each over 1.5 metres long and white in colour, reared up to the sky, twisting and twirling incessantly like sinister serpents

Suddenly, after the people had offered up prayers to the tree, they encircled one of the women amongst them and forced her to climb its trunk. Once she had reached the apex, surrounded by its dancing feelers, she bent doen and drank the viscous fluid exuding there and became wild with hysterical frenzy. But when she tried to jump down, the tree instantly came to life, and with the merciless fury of straved serpents its feelers quivered over her head, then fastened themselves all around her, wrapping her within their ever-tightening folds.

Soon her screams were replaced with a gurgling moan, and slowly the tree's eight great leaves rose upwards until they too had forced themselves against her body, pressing closer and closer until a revolting fluid trickled down from between them, compsed of the scarlet blood and oozing viscera of the tree's victim mingled with its own creamy viscous intoxicant. The leaves retained their upright position for 10 days, after ehich, as discovered by Liche when he walked by one morning, they became prone once more, with the hairy green tendrils outstretched and the deadly feelers floating above. As a silent reminder of the horrors that had recently been perpetrated here, however, a white human skull lay at the base of the tree.

Predictably, many scientists are very sceptical about Liche's lurid account. Yet when Salmon Osborn, a former governor of MIchigan, visited Madagascar in the 1920s to seek this botanical horror, he learnt that the tree was apparently well known to the locals and missionaries there, and that for many centuries Mdagascar had been known as "the land of the man-eating tree". Even so, he never encountered it - but that is probably just as well!
 

hachihyaku

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Sep 23, 2001
Messages
183
Likes
2
Points
49
#10
If a plant that can eat people does exist, there's no way people could be its primary source of nutrition. One, we'd hear about it, and two, humans haven't been around long enough for anything to evolve to eat them. It would have to be a plant that usually eats wild pigs or some other medium-sized jungle creature, and occasianally eats people.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#11
hachihyaku said:
If a plant that can eat people does exist, there's no way people could be its primary source of nutrition. One, we'd hear about it, and two, humans haven't been around long enough for anything to evolve to eat them. It would have to be a plant that usually eats wild pigs or some other medium-sized jungle creature, and occasianally eats people.
Similar to man eating tigers, crocs and polar bears it would just be a case of a human being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I dont think there is any creatures (besides reptoids) that reply on humans as their primary food source but the possibility of such a plant existing is strong after all there are known carnivorous plants(click here for some pics), so why not larger plants that as you said eat wild board? I dont think it is too far fetched to think that such a plant could exist and that an unfortunate human could fall victim to it.
Didnt anyone see little shop of horrors?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#12
What do you mean humans haven't been around for long enough? We have been around for a long long time, just in forms of other species.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#13
Xanatic said:
What do you mean humans haven't been around for long enough? We have been around for a long long time, just in forms of other species.
lol, humans are thought to have only entered south america a few thousand years ago, about the same time the first nations people reached north america. For a plant to evolve in this time to have a primary food source of humans is doubtful, unless these plants are the humans, just a different species hahah :blah:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#14
Yeah, okay they haven't been around long in South America. But it is an awful jump to make isn't it? Going from plants that eat flies to eating humans.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#15
Yeah id say it is a huge step but maybe these plants have slowly evolved to eat large creatures like monkeys large cats wild pigs and it just so happens that humans stumbled along a few million years later and just so happend the plant is partial to that taste of human flesh. There arent many animals that do see humans as a food source, for example great whites have been known to hunt humans and eat them, now they havent evolved to do this as humans havent always been at sea but we still taste good to them, scientists say that they mistake us for seals but most carnivores are oppertunists and will take down anything that they see as being an easy meal. There also have been large crocs in africa lately been using tourists as a source of food, they reakon these crocs are getting to slow to catch their usual prey and moving on to the slower and more easily fooled humans that come look for them to take a photograph. It just goes to show the adaptability of the animal kngdom to suit its surroundings, for all we know this could apply to the kingdom of plants. Watch out for killer roses in the future, one prick from these babys and ull be 6foot under ;)
 

MrRING

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,041
Likes
1,228
Points
234
#16
I wonder if this tale didn't directly lead to Little Shop of Horrors. There was a Dick Briefer Frankenstein comic in the 1940's about a scientist who has basically a tree with teeth who he feeds his victims to, it's most definately a tree that can only eat and move it's tendrils (the scientist tries to escape with it tied on his back, but eventually it gets hungry and when the scientist gets tired, it eats him too!).

Little Shop came out 15 or so years after the comic (maybe Roger Corman read it) and the look of the plant is similar to the comic, but it looks more like a flowing plant than a tree.

My contention was that Briefer had read the Madagascar story and based the criter in the comic on it...

READ ABOUT BRIEFER'S FRANKENSTEIN (NOT THE PLANT STORY THO) HERE
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#17
I remember reading one of those horror comics with a story about some blood drinking orchids. They started finding corpses drained of blood, and one guy confronts this guy thinking he's a vampire. He's not, but he does catch people and let his orchids drink their blood. Though only from the 80's or so.
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
5,591
Likes
348
Points
164
#18
Ha, ha, I know a man eating plant, its the atheletes foot fungus...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A

Anonymous

Guest
#19
tang-malow said:
lol, humans are thought to have only entered south america a few thousand years ago, about the same time the first nations people reached north america. For a plant to evolve in this time to have a primary food source of humans is doubtful, unless these plants are the humans, just a different species hahah :blah:
I can't think of any species that exists souly on humans, hehe if there were any it would've certainly been wiped out long ago. if there were any large carnivorous plants in South America they would've been eating capybaras and peccaries long before the first unfortunate human wandered into their waiting tendrils.
 

Raya_Kaiserin

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Messages
47
Likes
3
Points
24
#20
I remember reading an article somewhere about a type of recently discovered carnivorous plant whose main diet was monkey...I think the only reason I remember it is because the article had a drawing of the plant ensnaring (attacking?) a panther. If only I could remember which book/magazine it was in...*groans*
 

austen27

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
1,187
Likes
11
Points
69
#21
John Wyndham had his 1951 novel "Day of the Triffids" about man-eating plants, which could walk!

People might be confused about their reality because when the BBC filmed the book in 1981 they afterwards loaned the models to the Natural History Museum for an exhibition about carniverous plants.

BBC Day of the Triffids

The special effects were quite good - had I visited the exhibition I might have believed there were such things as ten foot man eating orchids!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#22
Raya said:
I remember reading an article somewhere about a type of recently discovered carnivorous plant whose main diet was monkey...I think the only reason I remember it is because the article had a drawing of the plant ensnaring (attacking?) a panther. If only I could remember which book/magazine it was in...*groans*
sounds like one of many carnivorous plant reports covered in Karl Shukers Unexplained
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#24
I remember a man-eating plant with the spiky vines from the old 60's-70's show the Banana Splits.
Actually it was in one of the shows featured cartoons---The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The cartoon actually had live characters interacting amongst a backdrop of cartoon characters and illustrated scenery.
The vine had gotten hold of either Huck or Tom and had poisoned him with a toxin delivered through its venomous spines.

Sorry,I couldn't find a picture of it though.
 

Semyaz

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
202
Likes
11
Points
34
#25
Does anyone know anything about the Ya-te-veo tree, a supposed man-eating tree??

I found this brief description

Ya-te-veo Tree - A carnivorous tree sighted in Central America. It is said to be capable of eating human beings. The tree has a short, thick trunk and thorn-bearing shoots that hang down from its top. If a human gets to close to the tree, the shoots spring into action and grab the person, crushing them against the tree trunk and impaling it with their thorns. The blood is absorbed through the tree’s trunk. No known plant is like this, showing that the tree is a Type #1 cryptid.
at this address: angelfire.com/sc2/Trunko/cryptolist.html
Link is dead. No archived version found.


It has quite a list of cryptids, both animal and plant, so may be of use with other obscure cryptids.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Semyaz

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
202
Likes
11
Points
34
#26
I've found something else about the man-eating tree in a book called Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special by Bob Rickard and John Michell.

Apparently: the tree is not only native to the Americas but also to parts of Africa and Madagascar. There are reports of native tribes that seem to worship, and sacrifice people, to a tree with spiny-like tentacles that feed on the blood of animals cauht in its tentacles.

Apaprently, there are also a few reports of similar plants in nature. The London Horticultural Hall (here in England) that supposedly has a smaller version of the plant that feeds on insects and mice.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Semyaz

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Messages
202
Likes
11
Points
34
#27
Here's a little more I've found:

The most notorious is the so-called man-eating tree of Madagascar. The first European description of this bulbous tree, a kind of elephantine Venus flytrap, appeared in the South Australian Register of 1881. In horrifying detail, the author tells how he watched aghast as members of the Mkodo tribe offered a woman in sacrifice to the dreaded tree, whose white, transparent leaves reminded him of the quivering mouthparts of an insect:
The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey.


Never fear. Despite decades of speculation, which included the 1924 book Madagascar, Land of the Man-Eating Tree, no one has ever again laid eyes on this carnivorous horror, nor on the Mkodo tribe for that matter, and today most consider the story a fabrication, if a gruesomely good one.
Source:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/madagascar ... ghts2.html

And from Wikipedia:

A man-eating tree can refer to any of various legendary carnivorous plants that are large enough to kill and consume a person or other large animal. No such plant is known to exist; the largest known carnivorous plant is the Nepenthes rajah which produces "pitcher" traps up to 35 cm (14 inches) in height and will sometimes consume small mammals and reptiles.


Depiction of a native being consumed by a Ya-te-veo ("I can see you") carnivorous tree of Central America, from Land and Sea by J.W. Buel, 1887.One account of a man-eating tree appeared in the South Australian Register in 1881. Traveler Carle Liche recounted watching in horror as members of the Mkodo tribe of Madagascar offered a woman in sacrifice to the dreaded tree:

"The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey."

The Madagascar man-eating tree was given further publicity by the 1924 book Madagascar, Land of the Man-eating Tree, by former Governor of Michigan Chase Salmon Osborn. Osborn claimed that both the tribes and missionaries on Madagascar knew about the hideous tree, and also repeated the Carle Liche report above.

In his 1955 book Salamanders and other Wonders science author Willy Ley determined that the "Mkodo tribe", Carle Liche, and the Madagascar man-eating tree itself all appeared to be fabrications.

Similar tales have reported such trees in Central America, South America, Mexico and elsewhere.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-eating_tree

Looks like it might not be real after all.... pity :cry:
 

SimonBurchell

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Sep 15, 2001
Messages
111
Likes
8
Points
49
#28
I lived in Central America for three years and I've never heard of the Ya-Te-Veo tree, although it is a Spanish name and means I've-Seen-You. Of course, the fact that I've never heard of it doesn't mean much, and it would depend what country in Central America it's supposed to be found in...
 

citizencane

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
155
Likes
8
Points
34
#29
I saw one such plant in an old....tarzan movie I believe.
It was more of a large bulb like plant that looked like a very large flower on the ground,but when stepped on it would immediatly close its petals upward into a bulb shape and engulf the person until digested.
 

riverfern

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Jul 17, 2005
Messages
30
Likes
2
Points
22
#30
quote]I saw one such plant in an old....tarzan movie I believe.
It was more of a large bulb like plant that looked like a very large flower on the ground,but when stepped on it would immediatly close its petals upward into a bulb shape and engulf the person until digested.[/quote]

Wasn't there something like that in 'Jumanji' too?
 
Top