Friday, April 17, 2009

Watermelon Seeds

Growing up, many of us were warned not to swallow watermelon seeds. They might sprout and grow in our tummies, we were told... We now know it's not true... We can swallow them safely, but apparently, just don't try to inhale them!

In very recent news:

A Russian man who was being operated on for a suspected tumour ended up having a fir tree removed from one of his lungs. The 5cm tree, was discovered by surgeons when they opened up Artyom Sidorkin, 28, according to Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Gazeta.

It is believed Mr Sidorkin inhaled a seed, which then sprouted into a small fir tree inside his lung. He went to doctors complaining of extreme chest pain and coughing up blood.

Surgeon Vladimir Kamashev told the newspaper he was sure it was cancer. "We did X-rays and found what looked exactly like a tumour. I had seen hundreds before, so we decided on surgery." The tree was discovered when surgeons took a biopsy before removing the major part of the man's lung.

"I thought I was hallucinating," said Dr Kamashev. "I blinked three times as I was sure I was seeing things."

"It was very painful. But to be honest I did not feel any foreign object inside me," a relieved Mr Sidorkin told the paper.

This could, of course, be a belated April Fools joke, but here's a take on it by no less than The Guardian.

Photo from REUTERS. FIR SURE: A Russian man has had a 5cm fir tree removed from one of his lungs.

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