Forget the blob: There’s another horrific, flesh-eating creature dripping toxic goo creeping toward New York – a really pretty plant.
Giant hogweed has blooms the size of umbrellas, but don't be fooled. The noxious weed's sap can cause third-degree burns and scar those who come into contact with it and then are exposed to sunlight, reports the New York Observer. The massive weed can also cause blindness if the sap gets in your eyes.
The weeds, immortalized in song by the band Genesis, are in various places around the U.S. but are especially rampant this summer in New York, where the state has set up aGiant Hogweed Hotline. Michigan offers a brochure with cautionary photos of what happens to people who’ve gotten too close. In Ironwood, Penn., an unfortunate man named Craig Poorker bought a home with what turned out to be 100 giant hogweed plants. Not knowing what they were, he cut them all down with a machete while wearing only shorts and ended up in the emergency room with severe burns on his legs.
“Turn and run! Nothing can stop them,” sang Genesis’ Peter Gabriel in the 1971 song "The Return of the Giant Hogweed." “Waste no time! They are approaching! Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find shelter…”
OK, perhaps he was being a bit melodramatic, but seriously, be careful out there.