When the pandemic hit, I thought the weirdest part of 2020 was going to be Tiger King. After all, what could top a methed up redneck trying to kill a woman who fed her husband to tigers? Then, almost as if to say hold my beer and watch this, mysterious seeds began appearing in people's mailboxes.
In late June, the Arkansas Times reported that the state had joined many others in warning its residents about the seeds, “The type of the seeds isn’t known yet and agricultural officials warn they might be invasive plant species. The Agriculture Department encourages anyone who receives such seeds to put an unopened packet in a sealed bag and contact the Plant Industries Division at 501-225-1598.”
While Agricultural Departments cautioned recipients of the seeds to not plant them, many people began wondering why this was even a thing in the first place. Was it biological warfare? Was there a mix up in the Wish warehouse? Was it just a prank? Who knew?
NBC4 reported on the most logical answer, calling it a brushing scam, “BBB spokesperson Jessica Kapcar said the scam involves online sellers sending unsolicited merchandise to individuals and then using their names to post favorable customer reviews.”
Dirty marketing tactics? You bet your ass it is. Also a logical explanation? Also yes.
While most people followed their Agricultural Departments’ requests and turned over the seeds for testing, some people did the exact opposite.
Arkansas’s Kark news station reported on a Boonville resident who planted his mystery seeds just to see what they were.
Kark went on to report, “State agriculture officials have not yet been able to identify the plant that bears orange flowers and white, squash-like fruit. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is taking the plants for further investigation.”
The idea of someone planting unknown seeds should scare anyone in the agricultural industry. Invasive species can wreak havoc on native plants and animals. While many researchers are finding that the seeds already turned in are common species like peppermint, that fact alone isn’t entirely reassuring.
Right now, many hemp farmers are fighting Southern Blight, insects, and all sorts of other problems that could damage or destroy their crop. The last thing this industry needs is an invasive species of plant doing damage just because some moron drunk on hand sanitizer wanted to see what the seeds were. Don’t be a dumbass, turn the mystery seeds over to the proper authorities.