A Chunk of SciFi – 1.06 – Explosive Dandelion [Plant]
“Ohh this looks nic..Achooo **** BOOM **** …”
Last known words of Alfred T Farn, first, but not last victim of the Explosive Dandelion.
Looks like: Normal Terran Dandelion
Effect: Seeds are explosive and very fragile
The Explosive Dandelion named the Terran-based flower known as Taraxacum officinale or common dandelion, is a small yellow petaled flower, that grows in almost any terrain where there are appropriate soil and nutrients. A casual glance at the flower will show that it has a slight orange tint to the end of the petals, but there almost nothing else the average person can do to tell the difference between these dangerous plants and the regular variety.
The ED, as you might expect not a natural plant. Officially, it appeared first on Earth, not long after a mutagenic bomb was dropped by an alien species. The fallout was contained to a small area. It was noticed that where this single mutagenic bomb fell, the ground became unstable and most plants in that area wilted and died. Except for a species of dandelion, that seemed to not only thrive but absorb the dangerous mutagen in the process. All was going well until it was time for the flower to spread their seed. The combination of mutagenic material and high nitrogen content in the atmosphere result in what can best be described as an organic version of TNT. The seeds themselves became small bombs, each doing the equivalent amount of damage as a small stick of TNT.
Within hours after the first seeds spreading, the area was devastated, doing more damage than the original mutagenic bomb. After carefully harvesting what seeds they could for study, the area was firebombed and all organic life within the area destroyed and buried. Those working in the area are on permanent high alert for the signs of any plant life. For now, things seem contained. Investigation into these seeds and resulting flower revealed that the mutagen had changed this humble dandelion into a self-propagating explosive device, converting nitrogen and other gases into an explosive seed. Luckily, the effect is lessened on other planets, due to the missing mutagen, but it is still a dangerous plant. The galactic trading community has thus banned many plants from Earth being traded without a license and anyone caught with a dandelion, explosive variety or not, is treated to harsh fines and punishments. Oddly, there are a few races that desire the ED to make into a form of tea, claiming the explosive gives it a spicy kick not found in anything else.
Once introduced to a new planet, they are very hard to get rid of completely and even one seed can causes issues, as it was noticed about the explosions that the seeds are spread over a much wider area and can go higher into the atmosphere, spreading them even further still. Many of the Galactic Council are suggesting that Earth should be fined or punished for this flower, but, as others correctly pointed out, it was one of their members that attacked Earth with the mutagenic bomb in the first place and yet, they did nothing about it.