This Might Look Like an Evil Alien Monster, but It's a Strawberry

Science fiction has produced some amazing alien creatures, moving beyond the restrictions of reality to stretch our imaginations into the improbable and impossible. Sometimes, those most unrealistic monsters can be put into our own backyards.

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Polynoid has released an animated video (for the fictional Korean Strange Plant Research Institute) that visualizes the growth and development process of a fake plant called the Parco Pistris. Update: The plant and the site are parody, which was not originally reported.

The video presents a strawberry species that grows by devouring earthworms and other prey, sucking them up into its cluster of teeth with a tentacled tongue and tearing them apart, inch by inch. The strawberry has toxins normally found in snakes to dissolve the worm’s body, using it as fuel to grow and thrive.

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It smells sweet, like a strawberry should, but the scent is actually created by the worm’s decomposing body. It also looks plump and red, so animals will want to eat it. Why would the fruit want to be eaten? It’s all part of its mission to divide and conquer. You see, the red fruit that looks like a strawberry isn’t actually a berry, it’s a digestive system. The seeds on the surface are the real fruits, waiting to be swallowed up by a bird. Since the birds can’t digest them, they’re instead vomited up somewhere else so they can go on making more evil killer strawberries.

The plant might be fictional, but the video makes it feel all-too real. And it could give Ridley Scott some inspiration for the latest Alien film. Face Huggers are one thing... but a killer alien strawberry? No one would suspect it. Check out the video below, if you dare.

[Vimeo]

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

I’m calling bullshit... I just did a fairly thorough search online, and not only are the no photos of this thing anywhere, the only source on it is that Korean site linked to in the article.
It’s not that this plant is impossible (it’s well within what other similar plants can do), but the different traits are rarely in the same plants and the only source is a dodgy site that posts visualizations and drawings, all of which stinks of fake.