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The Exploding Cactus
You Don't Want A Cactus THIS BIG To Explode At Any Time.
Beware of Cactus, Says Man From Tucson Arizona
Brought Back From A Family Vacation
A family went on vacation and visited Mexico for a week. While there, the mother spotted a rare and expensive cactus that was ever-so-difficult to find at home. She made a point to purchase the large healthy-looking plant on the last day of vacation.
When the family got home, the mother was greatly pleased with her find and put the impressive 1-metre high cactus on display right in the living room, for all to see.
One day when she was watering the rest of her plants, the lady thought she'd just give the cactus a gentle spritz from her spray bottle - just a light dose of moisture, and when she did, she noticed that the cactus vibrated, or appeared to shiver for a few seconds.
The lady thought this strange, so she lightly sprayed the plant again. The plant shivered again, so the woman decided to make a phone call to an exotic plant shop and find out why her cactus might be shivering so.
After being placed on hold for a minute, the lady reached a store employee who asked about how the plant was acquired, when it was purchased, where it was purchased, and a number of other details. The last question asked seemed very strange to the lady with the cactus and at first she didn't respond right away. Prompted a second time by the question, "Ma'am, is your family in the house?" she finally answered, "No, my husband is at work and my children are at school."
The store employee said, "Good! What's your address?" The lady gave her address, to which the store employee replied, "Now...listen very carefully, Ma'am...after you hang up the phone with me, I want you to go directly out your front door - close the door securely - and wait outside on the sidewalk. I will meet you outside in no more than 15 minutes."
Although the directions from the store employee were very odd, the urgency in his voice got the lady's attention and she obediently followed instructions...
Video Version and Comments on "The Exploding Cactus" Urban Legend
15 Minutes Later
After 15 minutes, a van with advertising slogans on the side for the exotic plant shop the lady had called pulled up at her house. A young man hopped out of the van as soon as it was parked and he began to speak, "Ma'am, which room of the house is the cactus in?" She recognized his voice as that of the person she spoke with on the phone 15 minutes earlier, so she told the man the cactus was in the main area of the house - in the living room.
The man walked toward the house, gesturing with a hand behind him for the lady to stay put - and he peered into a window...his eyes went wide and he backed away from the house quickly, pulling a cell phone from his pocket, dialing, then speaking rapidly...he gave out the lady's address and added, "get here quick, okay?"
He hung up and joined the lady who was standing far away from the house, on the sidewalk by the road. He explained that he had called for help and the lady must wait outside with him until that help arrived.
Help was not long in coming:
a Firetruck with Firemen in full gear and extermination team, all wearing funny-looking space-suits showed up within 10 minutes and entered the lady's home.
The cactus the lady had bought in Mexico contained other live organisms, undetectable at the time of purchase, but housed inside the plant nonetheless. The 'shivering' motion the lady had noticed was from thousands of eggs hatching...
The lady's cactus exploded as thousands of baby tarantulas came forth into the world...
Unfortunately, the exterminators, along with the support of firefighters, had to douse the lady's living room all over with serious and toxic chemicals to mass-kill the thousands of tarantulas. An entire floor of the home had to be gutted and re-worked - and the family wasn't allowed back into their home for weeks.
Jumping Cactus Pets
Other Versions on Snopes .com
Snopes .com has a great bunch of versions and additional information on this exploding succulent or, Exploding Cactus urban myth.
The Snopes website calls the main version featured on-site, "Spiders in Cactus" or, on the cactus story page, "Cactus Attacked Us!"
If you'd like to view the Snopes versions, the link is below:
Cactus Attacked Us version of Exploding Cactus on Snopes .com
The Snopes articles are interesting because they (at the site) show a 1998 "internet version" that was going around in emails several years ago - along with commentary, of course. The 98 net version details that the cactus was actually planted outside in a person's yard...with the same creepy sort of results - a dangerous explosion of spiders coming out of the succulent-species plant. Actually, I should say the person in the story attempts a much more severe solution than in the versions I've used on the hub. Before help arrives, in the 98net version, the owner of the plant has a flamethrower out and everything...crazy, crazy version - but enjoyable nonetheless if you're into urban myths or legends!