On April 1st a story broke that a botanist had discovered an incredible species that appeared to have come from an extraterrestrial source. The new species not only had the characteristics of a more traditional form of cactus, but also a few others that led one botanist to believe it was from outer space. Of course when he said he first discovered the plant in Roswell, New Mexico from a meteorite the paranormal community was already beginning to get skeptical. But all lingering doubts were removed with the prankster came clean shortly afterward and said his cactus story had been a big prank to raise awareness of cacti.
David Salman, of High County Gardens first developed the prank to air footage of a known terrestrial species of alien cactus as a more deliberate and unusual brand of alien invader which he named Ariocarpus extraterrestrialensis. Ariocarpus was chosen as the creatures did resemble a terrestrial form of cactus species going by that name, and extraterrestrialensisafter his belief that the strange plants had actually originated among the stars. But thins have been quickly developed into a far more elaborate prank than Salman likely had hoped for as a good natured bit of fun. And when your life’s work includes studying cacti in the desert, you’re familiar with your work resulting in a few jabs. Luckily, however, Salman was able to come clean long before the story got too out of control.
This week has already been full of April Fool’s jokes, resulting in everything from sewer monsters to celebrity ghosts and even alien invasion – of plants. But the new twist added in a pod-people tone was naturally eaten up by a public perhaps looking for a change in a more green direction. But by the end of it few were surprised when the announcement finally came along that these pod people were just having a laugh.
but the idea of alien plants isn’t entirely a new one. Aside from the aforementioned pod people, there have been numerous stories about plants that come from the stars and wreak havoc on Earth. The classic “Day of the Triffids” saw intelligent plants wreaking havoc on the now mostly blind populous while “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” took a more humorous approach to the idea of these space seeds dropping from beyond the stars.
It’s interesting how alien plants are almost always hostile in films. Unlike other forms of organic life, there are rarely any signs of compassion from a planted alien visitor. Instead they are so often seen as vengeful creatures wishing to feed off of humans in one way or another and eradicate them. Perhaps plant aliens are simply the manifestation of our deeply rooted fears that one day the plants that we’ve turned to for food for so long may grow tired of our existence and demand revenge. Let’s just hope they don’t have a cosmic line to their space-borne cousins or we may have a problem. In the meantime, it looks like the hoaxer in this case came forward voluntarily – no weeding fiction from the truth necessary.