Scientists travels to the remote jungles of the Philippines, find giant flesh eating plant
A new flesh eating plant, named Nepenthes attenboroughii after famed naturalist sir David Attenborough, has been found on the highlands of the central Philippines. But don’t worry, it’s not The Day of the Triffids just yet.
The new flesh eating vegetable is a pitcher plantand has a large tube-like leaf structure that unlucky insects, rats and lizards fall into, drown, die and digest. Although big, it’s not big enough for a human to fall into, it should be noted.
Word that this new species of pitcher plant existed initially came from two Christian missionaries who in 2000 attempted to scale Mount Victoria, a rarely visited peak in central Palawan in the Philippines.
That pricked the interest of natural history explorer Stewart McPherson of Red Fern Natural History Productions based in Poole, Dorset, UK and independent botanist Alastair Robinson, formerly of the University of Cambridge, UK and Andreas Fleischmann of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.
So in 2007, they set off on a two-month expedition to the Philippines, which included an attempt at scaling Mount Victoria to find this exotic new plant.
As they closed in on the summit, the forest thinned until eventually they were walking among scrub and large boulders
“At around 1,600 metres above sea level, we suddenly saw one great pitcher plant, then a second, then many more,” McPherson recounts.
“It was immediately apparent that the plant we had found was not a known species.” [BBC News]
On the expedition, the scientist also discovered strange pink ferns, blue mushrooms, a new species of the stricky trap plant sundew and rediscovered Nepenthes deaniana, the last species of which died in in a fire in 1945. No Triffids was found.