Location: Various rainforests around the world.
Description and Behavior: Lung Sprouts are an anomalous parasitic plant species known to inhabit various rainforests. The origins of these plants are unknown, though analysis of them has shown that they are related to cabbages. Coloration in their leaves tend to be of various shades of red, and the Sprouts have a generally ‘mushy’ texture and consistency to the point of easily sloughing apart when held.
The plant itself has a simple to understand, though still utterly brutal, reproductive cycle. They produce spores that are inhaled by various animals and humans. Once these spores are in the lungs, they immediately start growing roots into the lung tissue to provide anchoring. As soon as the Lung Sprout is properly anchored in place it punctures a single root through the lung to build a root system to gather nutrients from the fat tissue, muscles, and blood of the host. The Sprout will use the air breathed in by the host to absorb the necessary carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, despite the fact photosynthesis should be impossible in such conditions. If other Sprouts are present in the same lung, they will attempt to ‘strangle’ each other with their roots. Once the host has perished, typically due to either internal bleeding or respiratory failure, the Sprout will secrete a powerful acid to dissolve the lungs and chest to retain access to the air. The plant will use the rest of its existence to release large amounts of spores into the air to continue the cycle. From infection to death, this entire process takes anywhere from six months to ten years to run its course.
Recommended Actions: For the host of a Lung Sprout, the early stages often feel like there is fluid in their lungs much like a case of pneumonia. The later stages are often accompanied with severe chronic pain as the Sprout harvests their body for nutrients. It is imperative to immediately see a qualified medical professional about your condition. If it is a Lung Sprout, it is important that it is removed as soon as possible to minimize to potential for damage or death. If encountering a Lung Sprout that has killed its host, avoid breathing near it without an effective mask. Report the Sprout to anyone with the knowledge to destroy it, and make sure anybody who could have been exposed to the spores it gives off gets their lungs inspected.