Pea found growing in lung

Written by: Captain Skellett // August 15th, 2010 // The Realm of Bizzare

Well it don’t happen every day. The BBC reported last week that a Massachusetts man was rushed to hospital with a collapsed lung. X-rays revealed that a 1.25 centimeter pea plant had sprouted inside his lung. He’d been battling emphysema for months, perhaps the extra moisture helped germination. He’s now recovering at home.

When I was young I was always slightly terrified that I would accidentally eat an apple seed and die from a tree growing inside my stomach. Fortunately we have acid in our stomachs that stops that kind of thing (right guys? I can eat apples now, right?) I grew up on horror stories of ancient torture techniques where someone was forced to lie on a table while bamboo shoots grew from under them and THROUGH them. That is not cool.

Then there’s the Triffids, and the pod people, and the druids who imprisoned people in the hollows of oaks! Who does that to someone?

You know what, I’m just not going to think about it. I ate a watermelon seed today, and I’m just not going to think about it.

How does a pea start growing in a lung? Is it something that could pretty easily happen?

Doctors say that in this case, the man must have accidentally inhaled a pea a dinner. The pea found itself in a warm, moist locale with a good source of oxygen and decided to give it a shot. Poor choice, mister Pea.

I wonder if there are any more cases where plants have started sprouting inside someone…

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google


4 Responses to “Pea found growing in lung”

  1. Lab Rat says:

    Unlikely to start in the stomach, so I wouldn’t worry about eating seeds. The stomach is acidic, turbulant anoxic and full of bacteria, so not a good place to start growing.

    The lungs on the other hand are warm and moist with a regular supply of oxygen. Much more likely to sustain growth.

    But yeah, this story terrified me when I heard it was well.

  2. Meera says:

    Dude. DUDE.

    Not the only case:

    Wow, a 5cm tall spruce tree in a lung. That is mental.

  3. James says:

    the other thing here is that peas are friggin resilient plants. I bought some pea straw to mulch around my trees. For some reason (alcohol may have been involved, I cant remember 🙂 ) we used some to start a fire. I buried the ash in some clay in the cleared block next door and a pea sprouted. I cant be sure it was because of me but it seems unlikely otherwise.

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