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Can a Plant Eat a Human?

By: Selena Sun

Man-eating plants are quite a horror. For example, in the Mario Bros movie, Mario gets eaten by a piranha plant. Seeing this, a question so many people ask is: “Can a plant eat a human in IRL (in real life)?” Many of these “fictional” plants are actually based on real-life plants.

Types of plants that eat living things are called carnivorous plants. Carnivorous plants come in many shapes and sizes. One common type is the pitcher plant. These plants lure prey into their tube-shaped leaves using sweet nectar. The pitcher plant has a slippery coating that makes insects fall.

“The glue-like traps of sundews, however, would prevent a person from fighting back. These carnivorous plants use leaves covered in tiny hairs and sticky secretions to capture insects. The best human-trapping plant would be a massive sundew that carpets the ground with long, tentacle-like leaves.” The sundew waits for prey to get stuck in the sticky traps, then slowly squeezes the prey to death and slowly absorbs the nutrients from the prey.

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