Arkansas man planted mystery seeds delivered from China to grow massive unstoppable fruit
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Featured Image Credit: 5News/Whitehouse Police Department
Several weird things happened back in 2020, as we know too well, but one of them involved seeds showing up at people’s homes.
But obviously, there’s always someone who goes against the grain - or against the seed in this case...
Doyle Crenshawn, from Arkansas, received one of the mysterious packages of seeds from China and ended up growing a huge, unstoppable fruit.
Government officials told people not to plant the seeds due to concerns they could be an invasive species, but Crenshawn had already planted his by the time this advice came out.
He received the seeds in the post and said curiosity took over so decided to see what would happen.
He told KSFM: "Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy."
While experts couldn’t figure out what exactly the plant is, Crenshawn’s boasted large white fruits and orange flowers, which some compared to a squash plant.
Many of the random packages received from China reportedly were labelled as containing jewellery.
Crenshawn said: "The package said it was from China and said ‘studded earrings’ on the outside, and we thought that was a little odd."
Scott Bray of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture explained why there were concerns about the seeds.
At the time, he said: "Our concern is from an invasive-pest aspect; these seeds could introduce an invasive weed or an invasive insect pest or a plant disease."
Despite ongoing worries about the packages and seeds, officials said they believe that they were part of something known as a ‘brushing scam’.
A statement on the Whitehouse Police Department’s Facebook explained a brushing scam is 'an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner'.
They added: "Although not directly dangerous, we would still prefer that people contact us to properly dispose of the seeds."
Arkansas wasn’t the only state to have seen the odd packages. Some 27 states including Washington, Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada and Texas, reported people received such packages they had not ordered.
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported they had received over 900 emails from people who had the packages delivered to them.
At the time, people were advised not open the packages and to contact the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Anti-Smuggling hotline at 1-800-877-3835 for additional guidance.