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Beware Of This Plant - Its Sting Is So Bad You Can Die From The Pain

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There are some plants out there most people know to avoid, like poison ivy and prickly bushes covered with thorns, but there is another plant that is so threatening it is known as "the most dangerous plant in the world."

It's called a Gympie-Gympie plant and while it is mostly found in rainforests in Australia and Indonesia, it can be elsewhere too. Touching the plant will result in a sting that one victim described to Australian Geographic as "the worst kind of pain you can imagine – like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time." In fact, it is so painful that it has caused suicidal thoughts.

The Gympie-Gympie was first noticed in 1866, when a road surveyor's horse brushed up against it and was stung. The animal reportedly went mad and died two hours later. More recently, in the 1940s, a man shot himself because he could no longer take the pain caused when he unknowingly used a leaf off the stinging tree for "toilet purposes." Another who fell into the plant had to be strapped to a hospital bed for three weeks after being made as crazy "as a cut snake" because of the pain.

The reason for the agonizing sting is because the plant has tiny needles on it that inject victims with a neurotoxin that activates pain receptors and also prevents them from turning off. The worst of the pain lasts anywhere from minutes to days, but it also lingers for months later. Water actually makes the pain worse and there really isn't a cure besides waiting for the poison to work its way through the body, though some relief can be found from pain medications and anti-inflammatories.

While most of the plants are accounted for, private collectors across the globe have some growing in their collections, and all it takes is for a flower from one to blow away and sprout before the dangerous tree to make its way into the wild and spreads.