This is a true story; its source is the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service in Adelaide: A man and his family were on vacation in California and detoured to Mexico for a week. An avid cactus fan, the man bought a rare, one-meter-high, expensive cactus there. On arriving home, Australian customs said the plant must be quarantined for three months. When the time was up, the guy collected his cactus from quarantine and planted it in his backyard. It soon grew to about two meters. One warm spring evening, while watering his garden, he gave the cactus a light spray. He was surprised to see the plant shiver. He gave it another spray and it shivered again. He was so amazed that he rang the council, who put him on the phone with the State Gardens people who, in turn, transferred him to the State's foremost cactus expert. The expert asked the man how tall the plant was, if it had it bloomed and so on. Finally, he asked the most disturbing question: "Is your family at home?" When the man replied yes, the cactus expert told him to get everyone out of the house IMMEDIATELY and wait in the front yard for a team of experts who would be arriving shortly to help him! Fifteen minutes later, two fire trucks, two police cars and an ambulance came screaming around the corner. A fireman climbed out and asked, "Are you the bloke with the cactus?" When the man answered yes, the fireman emerged wearing what appeared to be a space suit: a breathing cylinder, a mask and a hose attached to what looked like a scuba backpack. He sprinted into the backyard, turning a flame-thrower on the cactus and spraying it up and down. After a few minutes of frantic spraying, the cactus stood smoking and spitting, half the fence was burned and parts of the garden were well and truly scorched. "What is going on?" demanded the homeowner as the cactus expert he'd spoken with on the phone walked up to him. The expert laid a calming hand on his shoulder and said, "Let me show you." He stepped up to the cactus and picked away the outer crust to reveal a hollow inside filled with bird-eating, tiger-striped TARANTULAS...each about the size of two hand spans! Apparently, this breed of tarantula lays eggs in this type of cactus. The eggs hatch and live inside the cactus as they grow to full size. When they are fully mature, the cactus just explodes and about 150 dinner-plate-sized hairy spiders are flung from it. This innocent-looking cactus had been on the verge of exploding!! The upshot of all this was the homeowner's house, as well as all the adjoining houses, had to be vacated and fumigated. Police tape was placed outside the area, and no one was allowed to put foot inside the tape for two weeks!