Rare, weird, strange, artificially modified, or fraudulent plants.
Udumbara Flower (Youtan Poluo) Controversy
A rarely seen Buddhist flower, Udumbara or Youtan Poluo, which is said to blossom every 3,000 years, was first discovered in South Korea. The earliest Udumbara found in Korea was in July 1997 on a golden brass Tathagata sculpture in a Buddhist temple in Kyungki-Do. There were 24 Udumbara measuring 0.1 inches found on the chest of a Tathagata (Buddha) sculpture. In May 2005, Udumbara was found in a thousand year-old temple, Sumi Zen Temple, located in Gyeongju City, Korea. Kim, a Zen Master, from the temple said he didn't know what they were when he first found them. He tried to wipe them off but they stayed. He observed them and realized they were plants with blossoms, stems and roots. On June 8, 2007, west of Seoul, 22 Udumbara were found on a name plate in a garden located on the roof of a district court next to the director's office. The same day, about a dozen Udumbara blossomed on a window in a university in Noryangjin-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul. On June 8, 48 Udumbara were found west of Kwangju City. The flowers were subsequently found in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, USA and elsewhere.
In Buddhist scriptures, the Udumbara blossoms every three thousand years and is believed by Buddhists to be a sign of an overwhelming blessing and good fortune. What does this alleged blossoming of Udumbara flowers mean? Can this be the sign of imminent arrival of a great buddhist king or just another bull shit? You be the judge!
The myth that surrounds this plant called the Youtan Poluo or Udumbara is that the flowers have clung and grown on wide varieties of surface.
Most believe these alleged mystical udumbara flowers are actually green lacewing eggs.
Green lacewing eggs
These are documented pictures of green lacewing eggs in academic publications.
Green lacewing eggs
Green lacewing eggs
Green lacewing eggs are rather unique and easy to recognize. The egg is a green to white capsule less than 1/32 inch suspended by a long thread (1/4-inch long) typically found on the underside of vegetable plant leaves, laid singly and in clusters.
Real Udumbara Tree (Ficus), commonly known as Fig Tree
Ficus racemosa (syn. Ficus glomerata) is a species of plant in the family Moraceae. Popularly known as the Cluster Fig Tree, Indian Fig Tree or Goolar (Gular) Fig, this is native to Australia, Malaysia, South-East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. It is unusual in that its figs grow on or close to the tree trunk, termed cauliflory. In India the tree and its fruit are called gular in the north and atti in the south. The fruits are a favourite staple of the common Indian macaque. It serves as a food plant for the caterpillars of the butterfly the Two-brand Crow (Euploea sylvester) of northern Australia. (Wikipedia)
In Buddhism, uḍumbara refers to the tree, flower and fruit of the Ficus racemosa (Ficus glomerata).
The Bodhi Tree (Sanskrit: बोधि) was a large and very old sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher later known as Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment.
(Wikipedia: Bodhi Tree)
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs.
A fig "fruit" is derived from a specially adapted type of inflorescence (an arrangement of multiple flowers). In this case, it is an involuted, nearly closed receptacle with many small flowers arranged on the inner surface. Thus the actual flowers of the fig are unseen unless the fig is cut open. In Chinese the fig is called wú huā guǒ (Chinese: 無花果), "fruit without flower". In Bengali, where the common fig is called dumur, it is referenced in a proverb: tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele ("You have become [invisible like] the dumur flower"). (Wikipedia: Ficus)
This is probably the origin of the alleged mystical udumbara flowers. Since the flowers are hidden and not seen, it is safe to claim that they blossom every 3000 years.
Mislabelled as Udumbara tree and flowers
This has been called the rare Udumbara flowers in multiple websites. I think they are wrong. It is labeled as "Phaleria clerodendron" at the www.flickr.com, and I agree that it is one of the Phaleria species.
"Narilatha" is said to be a flower plant in Himalaya region in India that blossoms every 20 years and the fruits shaped like woman.
It can also be found in Thailand, called "Nareepol" and in Sri Lanka, called "Liyathambara".
The names literally mean "women fruit" or "woman tree". They are mythical figures described in Hindu/Buddhist and Thai religious texts.
The blissful trance of hermits are said to be "shattered" at the sight of these flowers in the shape of attractive naked women.
*These "woman flowers/fruits" do not look real and the pictures appear to be photoshopped. Strong arguments have already been made in several websites against the authenticity of these images.
*The images above are the only set of photos known to exist and recirculate around the Internet. If they were real, we would expect to see much more of them.
*If the sighting of these trees is real and since such an event happens only every 20 years, the place would have been swamped by the tourists and the reporters and we would have heard the news in the main-stream media.
*Indeed, there is actual basis in mythological Hindu/Buddhist texts for the concept of women trees. It is called "Nariphon" in Wikipedia and will be described below.
Dried Nareepol Fruits (Makkaliphon)
Human shaped (male and female) dried fruit sold to tourists in Thailand.
There is a type of tuber or seed-pod found in Laos that is dried, carved into human shapes and sold to tourists, often in male-female pairs. Some of these are used as talismans in Thailand. Both versions of the talisman may be known as Makkaliphon ("fruit of the Makkali tree"), sometimes spelled Makareepol or Makareephon. (www.sacredsiam.com)
The Mythological Nariphon Tree (Naripon)
The Nariphon (Thai: นารีผล), also known as Makkaliphon (Thai: มักกะลีผล, from Pali makkaliphala) is a tree in Buddhist mythology which bears fruit in the shape of young female creatures. The maidens grow attached by their head from the tree branches. This tree grows at the Himaphan, a mythical forest where the female fruits are enjoyed by the Gandharvas who cut the fruits and take them away. (Gandharva is a name used for distinct heavenly beings in Hinduism and Buddhism.)
The Nariphon is also mentioned in the Vessantara Jataka in which Indra placed these trees around the grove where the Bodhisattva Vessantara meditated. (Wikipedia)
Myths and folklore:
According to Buddhist mythology, the God Indra created a pavilion (Sala) as an abode for Vessantara, his wife, and two children to live. His wife went into the forest to collect fruits: she was, however, in danger of being attacked by Hermits or Yogis who lived in the forest. Although they had acquired special powers from their meditation, they had not conquered lust (mattered the Girl).
Therefore, Indra created twelve of these special Nariphon trees. The trees would bear fruit whenever she went out to collect food and distract the men. The fruits were all in the image of Indra's beautiful wife. The men took the fruits to their place of abode and after making love to them would sleep for four months and lose their powers.
According to Thai folklore, since Vessantara and his family have died, the trees bear fruit daily. The special forest, trees and sala will disappear when the Buddha's teachings have become lost (predicted to be five thousand years after his death). When the fruits appear on the trees they will last for seven days, following which they will wither and die if they are not picked. In the heavenly realms males and females are eternally youthful: since there is no suffering, there is no ageing. They have same internal organs as humans, but no bones. These maidens also have magic powers and possess spirits which can sing and dance. (Wikipedia)
Isan Mural Painting at Wat Sanuan Wari.
Scene from Sinsai epic. Sinsai comes upon a groove of nariphon trees, surrounded by withiyathon.
(Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram is located in Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen Province, northeastern Thailand.)
Talking trees are a form of sapient trees in mythologies and stories.
According to Greek mythology, all the trees in the Dodona (northwestern Greece, Epirus) grove (the forest beside the sanctuary of Zeus) became endowed with the gift of prophecy, and the oaks not only spoke and delivered oracles while in a living state, when built into the ship Argo the wood spoke and warned of approaching calamities.
The rustling of the leaves on an Oak tree was regarded as the voice of Zeus.
In the book Shahnameh (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (d.1020), Alexander the Great visited a talking tree.
The Indian Tree of the Sun and the Moon: Told the future. Two parts of the tree trunk spoke depending on the time of day; in the daytime the tree spoke as a male and at night it spoke as a female. Marco Polo is said to have visited this tree.
Eskandar (Alexander the Great) contemplates the Talking Tree
Eskandar (Alexander the Great) contemplates the Talking Tree
Towards the end of his travels, Eskandar, or Alexander the Great, came to a town at the edge of the world. The local curiosity was a tree with two trunks of talking heads; the male trunk spoke by day and the female at night. Intrigued, Eskandar visited the tree and heard a voice prophesying his death. He is shown here standing before the tree in bewilderment, his finger to his lips. The tree’s mystical qualities are emphasized by the assortment of human and animal heads. The absence of text lends the image an unusual solemnity.
An unusually shaped vegetable is a vegetable or fruit that has grown into an unusual shape not in line with the normal body plan. While some examples are just oddly shaped, others are heralded for their amusing appearance, often because they resemble a body part such as the buttocks or genitalia. Pareidolia can be common in vegetables, with some people reporting the appearance of religious imagery.
(Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists.)
Youtube Video: World Top 10 Weirdest Fruits
10. Kiwano - New Zealand
9. Dragon Fruit - Mexico and New Mexico
8. Durian - Southeast Asia
7. Buddha’s Hand - Northeastern India or China
6. Passion Fruit - South America
5. Screw Pine - South Asia and Southeast
4. Rambutan - Australia
3. Akebia Quinata - Central China, Japan and Korea
2. Atemoya - American Tropics
1. Snakeskin Fruit - Southeast Asia
Artificially Shaped Fruits and Vegetables
These fruits and vegetables are artificially shaped with moulds.
People were skeptical when farmer Hao Xianzhang announced his plan to take a page out of a classic novel and grow pears shaped like babies, but he’s had the last laugh as his venture has become a resounding success. “People called me crazy. They said I was whimsical and it was impossible to grow baby-shaped fruits. They told me to stop wasting my time and money,” said Hao, who has sold nearly all the 18,000 pears he has cultivated for a hefty 50 yuan ($7) a piece.
Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang looks at two baby-shaped pears growing in plastic moulds in a pear tree at his farm in Lianghexia village, Hebei Province. Hao uses the moulds to shape the pears and sells them for about 50 yuan apiece.
Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang manufactured the goods by fitting moulds of Buddhas around his pears while they grew. They do look like Buddha. However, Since the chinese Government hates religious superstition, the pears are mainly sold as Baby Pears or Lucky Baby Dolls (吉祥娃娃).
Longitudinal cut of an Redlove appleRedlove apple Redlove apples are a series of several cultivars recently bred by Markus Kobelt in Switzerland. They are hybrids from cross-pollination of red-fleshed and scab-resistant plants. Cultivars include 'Redlove Calypso', 'Redlove Circe', 'Redlove Era', and 'Redlove Odysso'. Some have a high antioxidant content with 30-40% more than an average apple. The fruit are red on the outside and inside, with a white line in the middle. The apples are sold as a protected, trade-marked variety. Licences for commercial production are sold worldwide and can be acquired from Lubera AG.
Fruit grower Ken Morrish was left stunned when he found a golden delicious apple on his tree split exactly half green, half red down the middle. Experts believe that the odds of finding an apple with such a perfect line between the green and the red are more than a million to one. Jim Arbury, fruit superintendent at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, said it was probably the "result of a random genetic mutation".
"This is known as a chimera where one of the first two cells has developed differently giving rise to one half of the apple being different," he said.