How much pain can a cactus inflict? Lots according to Sir David Attenborough.
Sir David was spiked by the “vicious spines” of a Teddy Bear Cholla cactus while filming an episode for his latest documentary series, The Green Planet.
In this episode, Attenborough sticks his hand into a Teddy Bear Cholla and, despite wearing a layered protective glove, he gets a nasty jab from one of the spines piercing through.
The 95-year-old experienced the prickly encounter while filming in the Sonoran desert in Arizona.
Teddy Bear chollas are described as having the “ultimate protection”. It has a thick fuzzy coating of vicious spines to warn off predators.
Its spines also have backward-facing barbs which can easily penetrate the skin, meaning animals avoid it.
Sir David said: “The cholla is a real danger… if you just brush against it, the spines are like spicules of glass, I mean they are that sharp!”