Basket Stinkhorn, Stone Man Syndrome, Island Paternalism


The whole unfurling happens in about 15 minutes according to Taylor Lockwood. Phallus indusiatus or the “basket stinkhorn” is an edible, cultivated delicacy in parts of Asia. The brown tip includes a sticky mass of spores or gleba that smells like carrion in order to attract flies for spore dispersal.

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is a rare genetic disorder that causes soft tissue to become ossified or transform into bone. Sometimes called “Stone Man Syndrome”, the ossification is typically induced by trauma so removal of the excess bone worsens the condition. The rate of misdiagnosis is estimated at 80% and there is currently no treatment.

Niihau is a private Hawaiian island also home to 130 native Hawaiians. A European purchased the island in 1864 and passed private ownership down to family. The owners limited contact to the outside world for 150 years, hence its nickname “The Forbidden Isle.” Recently, limited tourism has been allowed to the island but the economy remains strictly controlled by the owners.

What do you think?