Just when I thought things could not get any weirder, news of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds from China broke last week. It seemed unbelievable, as much of the news of late, but this particular mystery intrigued me. The strange packages were apparently mailed from China (no, not Wuhan), to unwitting recipients across the United States and the United Kingdom. The mailing labels stated the contents were small jewelry items like rings, or earrings. Instead, when recipients opened the parcels, they found small plastic bags of seeds.
My first thought was, ‘Wow! This is a great premise for a sci-fi/horror novel, but it is really happening.” My second thought was that the seeds might release some kind of virus or disease, but no, we already have that. A contagious disease spread by seeds would be redundant and inefficient.
A host of other sinister possibilities rose up in my mind. Experts said, “At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment.”
Would you plant seeds that arrived in your mailbox if you didn’t know what they were or where they came from? The senders of those seeds know that humans are naturally curious and count on the fact that someone, somewhere, WILL plant those seeds just to see what happens, in spite of any warnings from the Department of Agriculture, and the trouble begins. Even if everyone who received a package of seeds just tossed them into the trash, those seeds will happily spring up in dump sites across the country.
Surely these seeds are part of a nefarious plot by evil scientists to destroy the natural flora and fauna of our part of the world via a noxious, invasive species designed to squeeze the life out all native vegetation. It is possible the seeds carry a plant fungus or some other icky disease that will quickly proliferate, or a genetic mutation that renders all other plants sterile and unable to produce when they come in contact with the unknown plant.
Once the seeds loose havoc on the world, those that instigated the invasion will be the only ones with the antidote, and in a position to extort an exorbitant price from those at their mercy, or in exchange for power and domination.
But what if those mysterious little packages of seeds did not come from China? What if they came from somewhere beyond our planet, the first incursion of our alien overlords, preparing the planet for their habitation? The seeds introduce alien food sources needed for their sustenance, that will destroy our own.
Of course, it is possible that the seeds could be harmless. A hoax, a prank. Or better yet, let’s assume that the seeds have been sent by benevolent aliens with good intentions, planning to introduce peace, love and unity to the peoples of earth via a powerful new psychedelic plant that, just by inhaling the scent of its beautiful flowers, brings about a change in consciousness. I vote for that idea!
In the end, all of this seed business may simply be a “brushing scam”, something I had never heard of before. “A brushing scam is an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner.”
A brushing scam? A plot to destroy the world by evil scientists? A psychedelic revolution? Perhaps the plants will eradicate the murder hornets. Only time will tell.