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STUNG by The World’s Deadliest Plant!

Sep 08, 2023
(dramatic music) - I'm Coyote Peterson and I'm about to enter the nettle zone with the gympie-gympie. (Coyote growls) Look at all the lumps forming on my arm. Oh my God. Man, that looks disgusting. (bear growling) (dramatic music) Cape York Peninsula is considered one of Australia's last frontiers. It's a natural paradise and while we love filming its unique species, today we're actually looking for its most famous


. Known as gympie-gympie, it supposedly has the most painful


sting in the


. Today I'm meeting up with my good friend Ryan. He says that he has gymnasts in his land and he knows it because he has


him before.
stung by the world s deadliest plant
My goal will be to not only find this plant, but also cut off a leaf and finally place it on my forearm to determine how painful this sting really is. (tires rattling) Kevin is our official Gympie-gympie scout dog. He has a nose for danger. - That's all. - That's all. - That's where we are. - Oh, back there. Kevin, what do you think of gympie-gympie sheets? Is this something a dog would ever want to mess with? Not so much? (Kevin gasping) Now, Ryan, he's bitten your gimpie-gimpie before. Tell us a little about your experience. - Oh, actually, I just had it graze my fingers while swinging a machete and the pain stayed with me for about three months. - Wow. - Yes. - So today I could be in serious pain given what the gimpie-gimpie is going to do to me.
stung by the world s deadliest plant

More Interesting Facts About,

stung by the world s deadliest plant...

Now what I want to do is extract the correct size sheet. You can see that some of these leaves are huge, that is, bigger than a human head. So I could see that if you had an accident clearing bush paths, or if you slipped and fell on one of these plants, it would be the end for you. But in my case, I look for a blade that is the right size to fit on my forearm. It looks like I won't have any problems choosing whichever blade I prefer. I have a couple of things that I'm going to use.
stung by the world s deadliest plant
I will wear sunglasses and protective gloves. I also carry a couple of plastic bags with me and we will be in good condition. Will you follow me for a while or will you film from here? - I'm going to film from here. - Well. (laughs) Probably smart, right? - I also wear shorts. - Yes, okay, in fact I'm also going to put the scarf over my face so that nothing gets into my nose. The bandana, the glasses, the hat, the gloves. Hopefully this will protect me. I don't want to get irritated before the right time. (branches breaking) Okay, now I'm right under the tree.
stung by the world s deadliest plant
I have a big sheet right there. There it is, that's the gympie-gympie sheet there. Alright, let's get out of the weeds. It's time to start this experiment. Phew. (laughs) Sample number one, guaranteed. It's a very simple looking sheet, I have to admit. At the bottom you can see all those veins that run through it. And what you can't see with the naked eye are these tiny nettles, much smaller than the giant stinging tree leaf nettles. You've got those jagged edges around the outside edge, and if you hold it like that, it's almost heart-shaped. But there is no love that comes from this leaf, only pain.
Now, I've read a lot of gympie-gympie stories in preparation for this episode. Honestly, I think this is the most legendary plant on the face of the planet. There are stories dating back to the mid-19th century about the first explorers who came across this plant and the pain was so intense that they wanted to cut off the part of their body that those nettles inflicted on them. I even read a couple of cases where people's horses ran into nettles and the horses ended up dying within hours. And what I want to do next is show you up close what are called trichomes.
That's what actually harbors that neurotoxic poison. When you really break them down, those trichomes are little hypodermic needles, almost like snake fangs. And the moment they touch my skin and the tip breaks, that poison will slowly make its way into my system. Now, for context and for safety, we have a full first aid kit with us. We also have an epinephrine pen. There have been multiple cases of people affected by this plant suffering cardiac arrest, so we want to be very careful. I don't think it's that bad for me, but you never know. Certainly in Australia this is biological landmine number 101 and there is an indigenous remedy on how to remove those nettles if you find yourself in the worst case scenario.
I'll show you how to do it, but first we have to get the nettles into my skin. Oh, I can feel myself really wanting to drag this out. I have been told that this will be one of the most painful experiences I have ever gone through. Bullet ant, executioner wasp, giant hornet, hand in a box full of angry yellow jackets. If this gets past the yellow jackets, it's about to be the worst day of pain I've ever had. And it's amazing that this could possibly come from a leaf. We think that the animals on our planet will be the most dangerous biological landmines.
You never think that it's actually something like a plant. Now, to induce nettle, all I'm going to do is basically rub the leaf against my skin. Think about it, if you're exploring nature and you come across one of these, you'll feel it, so I don't need to go overboard. Above would be hitting my face and rubbing it all over my body. Now I can tell you this, if this is going to cause me pain for several hours, if not possibly weeks, I think I'm going to give the gympie-gympie a try. From what everyone tells me, it's going to be a wild ride.
I'm going to take this off the table and take off this glove. (exhaling) My poor forearm. I've taken a lot of beatings on this trip to Australia and you might see a red dot in the center of my forearm right now. Actually, it's still a bulldog ant bite, so we'll just add a little venom on top of the pain as it is. (exhaling) Well, here we go, I'm Coyote Peterson and I'm about to enter the nettle zone with the gympie-gympie. One two three. Ah, okay, oh, gee. Oh my god, that's so bad, so fast. My God, very bad, very fast.
Oh. (laughs) Oh wow, okay then, oh yeah. Holy mackerel, so what I did, oh dear. Yeah, wow, okay, it's very, very bad. I rolled the sheet like this because at first I thought, oh, I don't really feel anything. Those trichomes need even the slightest chance to penetrate your skin. This is like taking the volume on your car stereo and turning it up to 100. It only gets to 10, right now, it's on its way to 100. Holy shit, (grunting). Yes, this is worse than the giant stinging tree, that's for sure. Now, I'm not in any way going to put this on par with a hand in a box of yellow jackets, not yet.
We're not there yet, but I can definitely feel it building. Holy shit, it's okay, you can see where the redness is starting to appear. (Coyote growls) I'm just trying to sit here, I really want to get up. I really want to get up and move, now the sweat is getting into my eyes. Ah, I have to take off this glove. (growling) Okay, let me regain some composure. Holy cow, holy cow. So, burning and electrocution at the same point is exactly what it feels like. I was only electrocuted once. That's when I accidentally stuck my finger between those two prongs of an electrical outlet.
And boy, that sends a jolt through your body. But if I'm going to compare this to an insect bite, I'd say we're definitely at the bullet ant level at this point, and it continues to rise. Now when you think about how it's building up and getting worse, I'm about a minute and a half in now and if it's only going to get worse in the next 20 to 30 minutes, I'm actually a little nervous as to where that's going to go. Possibly I go and perhaps I have overdone it. Maybe I should have touched it on my arm and not twisted it.
Oh man, this was a bad idea. My God (laughing). Look at all the lumps forming on my arm. Can you see that with that camera? Everything out there, look at that. Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit, hit, hit. I'm going to go ahead and tell this because those are the trichomes that penetrated the surface. I see one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. 24, 25 , 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. Probably close to 50. (grunting) Hot seat right now, ladies and gentlemen. God, it's really getting bad. Yes, oh, oh my God. Oh, ah, holy cow. Can you see that on your camera, Mario? - Yes, if you keep it that way. - Dude, that's ridiculous.
God, don't vomit on us. Don't vomit on us. Oh, my stomach is getting a little queasy. I can understand after a few minutes of pain why some people have called this the suicide plant. I imagine this is on my face, my neck, my mouth. If you had fallen face first into one of these plants and you were going through this kind of agony everywhere, this is bad, this is bad. This is another one of those, oh, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I know they're writing in the comments section something like, "Coyote, what did you think you were getting yourself into?" Well, I knew what I was getting into.
I had to determine exactly how bad it was going to be. Without a doubt, this is much worse than the giant stinging tree. Ah, shimmities, wow. Holy hot zone, man. This is like a burning fire right now. Holy shit, no, something's going on here. I can actually feel it, it feels like it's getting under my skin. Very similar to a jellyfish, the jellyfish's pneumatophores, and the way that once they penetrate the top layer of the epidermis and start to get in there, they work their way inside. And those trichomes slowly release small bursts of neurotoxic poison.
So every time they go off, almost like a landmine, I feel this jolt of burning electricity running up and down my arm. Do you already have that opportunity? - That's a good angle. - Yeah, I bet it is. - Maintain stable. - Well, it's about to start pouring rain. - It will rain? - Yes. - We're trying to fix this scene before the storm hits. Now, it's important to note that we'll have to evaluate the pace of this over the course of the next 20 to 30 minutes. Then we have rain. The next piece is, (sizzling) the next piece of the scene may be under a ledge.
But the good news is that we have the trichomes and the poison is working. Oh, and I'm going to try using the local remedy to kill some of those nettles, but I'll let it sit so I can feel the full effect of the poison before doing so. Okay, I'm up, I have to move. Shit, ah, woo! - Well, I was right about playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes. He wanted to take this journey and we have been here to capture it. - (growling) Ah, torrential downpour. (laughs) Nothing like filming, ah! An episode of nettles in the middle of an approaching storm.
Oh, oh, my remedy, my remedy. Uh oh, water definitely makes it worse. (Coyote groans) Damn, man, that looks nasty. My whole left side is like, ah, very uncomfortable from my entire arm to my shoulder and down to my chest and lymph nodes. (Coyote groans) Phew, that's the face of a man who exemplifies true repentance. My arm is burning right now, and it's not just my arm, it's my lymph nodes under my armpit and in my groin. It's so uncomfortable. That's my body's lymphatic system basically saying we have invaders in the body and we need to get rid of them.
Now, there is a remedy that the indigenous people, the Aboriginal people, will use to help remove nettles from any stinging plants in Australia. I'm going to try this remedy. I'm looking for anything right now that can bring me relief. It's been 30 minutes. Mentally, I'm exhausted. My lymph nodes scream in pain, my arm burns. It might as well have been burned in an oven. So let's try to do this. If you're out in the wild and discover that you've stumbled upon a gympie-gympie or stumbled upon a giant stinging tree, all you need is a small container. You could use a water bottle, anything and some dirt.
You want some dirt that is thick and will eventually turn into a thick sludge that you can stick to your skin. You want it to have the consistency of a very hearty smoothie. Now, as the ground starts to dry out, as the mud dries, it will absorb the moisture and stick to the nettles and then you can peel them off or rub them off and hopefully take most of the nettles with you. So if you're out in the wild and find something with a flat, straight edge, I found this shell before. This will work perfectly for scraping mud at an angle.
You don't want to dig. You want to go at an angle against the mud, the skin and hopefully that will help push out some of the nettles. So, here we go. Look at that, just bulldozing it with a bulldozer. (moans) He's still very, very sensitive. Oh, although it looks like it's growing some of those nettles. Oh my god, my arm hurts so much. At this point, the entire arm is almost numb. And as the mud dried, I could feel it tightening on my skin, which gave me, oddly enough, a bit of relief. And the good thing about mud is that it will also suck out some of that toxin from the upper level of the skin.
Alright, now everything I've read says that water immediately turns into a stinging pain. This is because the nerve endings that are being affected by the neurotoxin are still screaming and the cold or heatHeat will simply increase that intensity. But I'm going to try, here we go. (grimacing) Yeah, oh wow, geez. Yes, yes, yes, yes, okay, I want to get that, I want to get it off. Ah yes, ah, the water burns like crazy! Ah, (exhaling), ooh. Well, there's definitely probably still trichomes in there if it hurts that much. Ah ah. Okay, get out of there, water.
Wow, man. Immediate contact with water is equivalent to a stinging pain. But now that I've removed some of that water, I feel a little relief. Now, as a secondary effort, if you are out in the wild and this is your immediate solution, going to a store to use something like wax strips will be your best remedy for a nettle, whether it's the giant's. sharp or gympie-gympie leaf. We know this because I used wax strips with the giant stinging leaf. I now have some wax strips with me that I will eventually try if the pain here doesn't start to subside.
Oh wow! Oh, that's so painful. It's crazy how many of them were still on my skin. And I can differentiate between hairs and trichomes because my hair is dark and the trichomes are light. And under a macro lens, they look like small snake fangs that inject a large amount of neurotoxic venom. (Coyote sighs) It's been 24 hours since I suffered the gympie-gympie bite and it's fair to say that last night I had the second worst sleeping experience of my life. In addition to sticking my hand in a box of angry yellow jackets, the gimpie-gimpie caused me serious pain.
Today I'm fine. I used another wax strip this morning. I still feel electric shock impulses running through my forearm. And I'd say I can officially classify gympie-gympie as the most painful plant sting in the


. Is there any plant sting that can ever get over it? I guess we'll just have to wait and find out. I'm Coyote Peterson. Be brave, stay wild. See you on the next adventure. It's been almost four months since my wild ride with Australia's famous suicide plant. And when it comes to long-term effects, all the warnings are legitimate. My forearm experiences random bouts of unprovoked itching, and if I put something refrigerator-level cold on my skin in the irritated area, it feels like icy rays are being zapped into me.
Fun times. But that's why I do what I do, so we can all see how powerful nature is and why you want to do everything you can to respect it from a safe distance. (dramatic music) (bear growling)

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