Flora and Fauna !! This is a true story......... And this is why we have quarantine inspections !! (source of the story is the Australian Quarantine Service........... apparently) A bloke and his family were on holiday in the States and went to Mexico for a week. As he is an avid cactus fan he bought a rare and expensive cactus there, it was about a metre high and cost about $500 Aus. He got it home and the customs people were none too impressed so they said it must stay in quarantine for 3 months, cost $800 or so. He finally got his cactus home and planted it in his backyard where over time it grew to about 2 metres or so in height. One evening after a beautiful warm spring day he was out watering his garden and thought he might give the cactus a light spray. This he did and was amazed to see the plant shiver all over, he gave it another light spray and it shivered and shook again. All its arms moved. He was puzzled so he rang the council who put him on to the state gardens. After a few transfers he got the state's foremost cactus expert who asked him many pointed questions, "how tall is it ?", "how tall was it when you got it ?", "has it grown well ?", "has it flowered ?", "what type of spines ?" etc, etc. Finally he asked a most disturbing question, "is your family in the house?" The guy answered yes, the cactus expert said, "Get them out of the house, NOW, get on to the front nature strip and wait for me, I will be there in 15 minutes." Ten minutes later, 2 fire trucks, two cop cars and an ambulance came screaming around the corner at the end of the street and stopped out the front of the house. A fireman got out and came up to him, "Are you the guy with the cactus?" "I am" he said. The fireman turns to the truck and says "Come on Dave". A guy jumped out of the fire truck wearing what looks like a space suit, a breathing cylinder and mask attached and what looked like a scuba backpack on with a large hose attached. "Stay here", says the first fireman, and they both headed for the backyard. This was too much for the bloke so he ran around after them and found the guy in the space suit was firing at his prize cactus with a flamethrower; he sprayed it up and down with this huge flame which fried everything within a ten metre radius of the cactus, caught fire to the back fence and set off the neighbours trees as well. The guy of course was having kittens, "what the *_%^& is going on ?!" etc. After about ten minutes the flamethrower man stopped; the cactus stood smoking and spitting, half the fence was gone, and the garden was entirely rooted. Just then the cactus expert appears and laid a calming hand on the guy's shoulder. "What the hell is going on?" says the bloke, 'Let me show you' says the cactus man. He went over to the cactus and picked away at a crusty bit. It was almost entirely hollow and filled with (dead) tiger-striped bird eating tarantula spiders, about the size of two hands span. The story was that this type of spider lays eggs in this type of cactus and they hatch and live in it as it and they grow to full size. When they are all grown to full size they release themselves. The cactus just explodes and about 150 plate size tiger striped hairy spiders are flung from it,dispersing everywhere of course. They had been just ready to pop, can you imagine?? The aftermath was that his house and the two adjoining houses had to be vacated and fumigated and sealed up for two weeks; yellow police tape was put up outside the whole area and no one was allowed in for two weeks. Then the all clear was given and they moved back in.