Thursday, January 21, 2021
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Australian tree stings with spider-like toxins

Posted on Friday, 18 September, 2020 | Comment icon 1 comment

Don't go near this tree without sufficient protection. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Cgoodwin
Scientists have been studying what gives the rather unusual 'gympie gympie' tree such an excruciating sting.
As if Australia wasn't home to enough poisonous critters, even some of its trees are capable of stinging you thanks to fine hairs on their leaves that deliver a potent neurotoxin.

One notable example - Dendrocnide excelsa (or 'gympie gympie') - can be found in the rainforests of north-east Australia. Those unfortunate enough to brush up against it with bare skin can expect an intense burning followed by the sensation of having one's hand slammed in a car door.

The pain is so bad that it can sometimes last days or even weeks in extreme cases.
Now according to a new study involving an analysis of the tree's molecular structure, scientists have discovered that its toxins are not dissimilar to those produced by spiders and scorpions.

The venom itself it knotlike - meaning that it can repeatedly target the victim's pain receptors.

"The Australian stinging tree species are particularly notorious for producing [an] excruciatingly painful sting," said Irina Vetter from the University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

"By understanding how this toxin works, we hope to provide better treatment to those who have been stung by the plant, to ease or eliminate the pain."

Source: BBC News | Comments (1)

Tags: Tree, Sting

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by openozy on 18 September, 2020, 12:44
I used to live in coastal northern NSW and this looks very much like a plant growing on the rainforest property I lived on.There was a local story of a guy falling onto this plant after swimming naked in a creek and him dying from it.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Is this the largest dinosaur that ever lived ?
Paleontologists in Argentina are in the process of unearthing a gargantuan, record-breaking dinosaur.
'Book of the Dead' scroll found in Saqqara
Archaeologists excavating a burial shaft have unearthed a 13ft scroll inscribed with a chapter from the book.
Scotland recorded 33 UFO sightings in 2020
The North West UFO Group has detailed the most notable sightings that occurred over the last 12 months.
Is the Loch Ness Monster an ancient sea turtle ?
One researcher has come up with a new theory to explain sightings of the legendary Scottish loch monster.
Stories & Experiences
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2021
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ