October 06, 2008

Flesh Eating Apples, Blood-Sucking Pumpkins




As we move into October (Halloween season!), I'm starting to feel spooky.

I eat a lot of apples, but did you know that apple trees eat humans? Shockingly true. The most famous case of a man-eating apple tree comes from Rhode Island.

In 1936, the descendants of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, decided to move his remains to a monument befitting his fame. As they dug into his grave, they make a strange discovery: the roots of a nearby apple tree had worked into his coffin and assumed the shape of his skeleton. Very few bones remained, so the assumption is that the roots absorbed all of the organic matter (i.e., his skeleton). The man-eating root is on view at the John Brown House in Providence.

Apparently other fall produce likes to feast on flesh. The Boston Globe ran an article about a farmer in Sharon, Massachusetts who is on track to grow the world's biggest pumpkin. It already weighs 1,878 pounds and is still growing. What does this pumpkin eat to get so big? The farmer feeds it "ground bone, blood, fish, molasses, and cow and chicken manure." Yikes! The molasses is a nice Yankee touch, but the ground bone and blood are kind of creepy. It's probably better not to ask what type of blood...

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