This Plant Gives You Third-Degree Burns Just From Touching It, And It’s Spreading

A killer plant that can cause third-degree burns just by touching it sounds like the plot of a terrible science fiction movie. Unfortunately, for several people in the U.K., this nightmare actually became their reality.

The giant hogweed is indigenous to the Caucasus Region and Central Asia.

1It was first brought to the U.K. in the 19th century as an ornamental plant for gardens. In the years since, the giant hogweed has managed to spread itself through Europe and North America.

While they don’t look very menacing, what happens when you touch one is straight out of a horror movie.


Giant hogweed sap contains phototoxic chemicals that make skin hyper sensitive to ultraviolet light.

3Once the affected skin is exposed to sunlight, it begins to blister and burn. After the initial painful inflammation, it can leave permanent scars. If, by chance, the hogweed’s sap finds its way into the eyes, it can cause permanent blindness.

As you might imagine, officials are concerned about the spread of this potentially deadly invasive plant.


If you think you have giant hogweed sap on you, wash the affected area immediately using soap and water. You should then seek medical attention.

5I am officially moving to the moon. When plants start becoming this deadly, it’s time to find a new planet to live on.