When Massachusetts man Ron Sveden was rushed the hospital after spending months coughing, he expected to receive a cancer diagnosis. So you can imagine his relief when it turned out to be a "half-inch" pea plant growing in his lung.
Welcome to a world where everything your mother said can't happen can, and does: For months, Ron Sveden, already stricken with emphysema, had been feeling "listless" and coughing a lot. On Memorial Day, his wife called 911, and on his trip to the hospital doctors found that a lung had collapsed. What else did they find, after two weeks of tests? A plant. A pea plant. Inside of him.
Sveden told local TV station WHDH that the plant was "probably about a half-an-inch, which is a pretty big thing of course." (Of course it is a "pretty big thing"! A half-an-inch pea plant is a larger pea plant than I have ever grown outside my own body.) Doctors hypothesize that the pea ended up in his lung after being swallowed the "wrong way," at which point it sprouted and grew inside of his body and ordered Sveden to murder his wife. Kidding! I hope.
It's unclear whether or not the pea would have "gone full term and I'd be working for the Jolly Green Giant," as Sveden puts it. He's nonetheless taken a ritualistic kind of vengeance on the herbage that attempted to root inside his lungs: "One of the first meals I had in the hospital after the surgery had peas for the vegetable. I laughed to myself and ate them."
There is some element of the story that's deeply unsettling, isn't there? Is it the thing where a plant was growing inside a person, like a tiny alien fetus? Or that this opens up the possibility that those things your parents used to reassure you about can actually happen, in which case, there might actually be a murderer, hiding in your closet? (Go check, just to make sure.)
The Takeaway: Stop eating vegetables. If you eat a hamburger, and it goes down the wrong way, nothing "grows" in your lung—you just die of asphyxiation. But if you eat a pea, you could turn into a man-pea hybrid. Ask yourself: Which is worse?