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According to ScienceAlert (This article and its images were originally posted on ScienceAlert October 3, 2018 at 02:54AM.)
“Burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.”
Stinging trees grow in rainforests throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales in Australia. The most commonly known (and most painful) species is Dendrocnide moroides (Family Urticaceae), first named “gympie bush” by gold miners near the town of Gympie in the 1860s.
My first sting was from a different species Dendrocnide photinophylla (the shiny-leaf stinging tree). It was like being stung by 30 wasps at once but not as painful as being stung by D. moroides, which I once described as the worst kind of pain you can imagine – like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.
I agreed to study stinging trees even after being badly stung. The puzzle was – what was eating the stinging tree?
Stinging trees often have huge holes but no-one knew what was eating them. What could possibly eat the leaves that were so painful to touch? (Read to the end to discover the answer).
Stinging trees grow in light-filled gaps in the rainforest understorey and come in many different shapes, sizes and species (seven in Australia).
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