Before starting filming for “Kong: Skull Island”, which took place largely in Australia, Brie Larson and the crews attended a briefing on the multiple risks they faced there. And one plant in particular almost discouraged the actress.
In an interview with the Australian site of Sydney Morning Herald in 2017, Tom Hiddleston admitted to having been surprised to discover the long list of dangers posed by the filming location. “A security guard detailed to us the number of things that could kill us: snakes, spiders, plants,” he recalled.
For Brie Larson, it is an extremely stinging plant called Gympie Gympie which almost convinced her to refuse the role. “When the first thing you are told is: ‘a lot of things here can kill you’, my first reaction was to say ‘ok, it will be without me'”, explained the actress.
A plant considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world
If the name Gympie Gympie can make you smile, this Australian plant turns out to be the most virulent of the stinging species. To describe the effects, Dr Marina Hurley of the University of New South Wales took the risk of getting stung.
“Even the briefest contact with a leaf causes excruciating pain. Intense bites and burns appear immediately and intensify until they reach a peak after 20 to 30 minutes, ”she says in an article published on the site The Conversation. Depending on the severity of the bite, the pain can last between 1 hour and 4 hours, but can also last for days, or even months, if the hairs and toxins of the plant are embedded in the skin.
“The hairs can stay in the skin for up to 6 months after contact. The pain returns as soon as you squeeze the skin or wash it with hot or cold water. (…) Not only do you feel the pain at the site of the bite, but within 20 minutes, the lymph nodes under your arms will swell and throb, accompanied by pain as if they were squeezed in between. blocks of wood, ”she explains.
Highly stinging, even when the plant is dead and dry, it doesn’t even have to be in contact with Gympie Gympie for it to be dangerous. Just being close for more than 20 minutes, Dr. Hurley says, is enough to cause heavy sneezing, nosebleeds, and can lead to serious respiratory damage. “In my opinion, this reaction is caused by the breathing of the hairs escaping into the air … but I have never been able to prove it”, she explains. Men, dogs, and even horses are said to have died because of her. However, some insects and marsupials are said to be immune.