Plants! That! Maim!

Globe and Mail: Giant weed that can cause blindness popping up in Ontario, B.C.

Money Quote:

While it may look bewildering — almost begging to be examined by an amateur botanist or a green thumb — the consequences of touching the weed could scar a person for life.

“The sap gets activated by sunlight, so once you get out on the sun it reacts and can cause really bad burns, blistering and scars,” said Mr. Muzzi.

It has also been known to cause temporary blindness or, in extreme cases, permanent loss of eyesight, said Mr. Muzzi.

As they say in the lab, sweet jesus.


Evidence mounts that we’re in midst of mass extinction event
It’s difficult to follow the literature right now in ecology without feeling like you need a drink. Pretty much wherever you look there’s bad news, and it just keeps coming. It all seems to point to one thing: we’re living in the middle of a mass extinction, and we’re almost certainly the cause. The irony, if such a word should be used, is that the planet has only just emerged from a mass extinction at the end of the last ice age.

New bird species found in Gabon

The long-ignored ocean emergency and what can be done to address it

Biodiversity: Don’t feel helpless in face of global change