Robert Anaya Jr

The incredible carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants are incredibly fascinating. While botany may not sound not like the most fascinating of topics at the outset, when it comes to the carnivorous plants, everyone gets excited. These plants literally set out traps for their prey and devour them. To think a plant could do such a thing boggles the mind, yet amazing things happen in nature every day. To learn more about carnivorous plants, read on.

The largest carnivorous plant ever found is the Nepenthes rajah in the jungles of Borneo. Today it is endangered but can still be found when climbing Mount Kinabalu. This plant is a variety of the pitcher plant, meaning it is shaped like a large jug. It leaves the mouth of the jug open until its prey enters and then snaps shut. The Nepenthes has a pitcher measuring 41cm. This means it has the ability to catch prey like rats and other small mammals. 

There are more than 200 varieties of carnivorous plants and the ways they trick prey into their traps are incredible. The Nepenthes, for example, has a waxy finish on the outside of the plant, so if a brave rat was to walk along the top of the plant, it would slip and fall in. The interior of the plant acts as a stomach with microorganisms breaking down the food inside.

The most impressive species though has to be bladderwort, that lives in freshwater. These intelligent plants have a type of bladder with two small hairs protruding. A small insect in the water will think the little hair bobbing under the surface of the water is prey and try and eat it. The moment it comes in contact the bladderwort opens a valve and traps the animal inside. It will then push all the water out, essentially drowning the animal of the water it needs to survive. A tough way to go.

For true sci-fi horror, we don’t need to create terrible murders or look to the animals in the jungle, we only need to examine the behavior of some plants.