(photo: Willem van Aken, CSIRO)
There’s a stinging plant called the Gympie Gympie that produces a toxin so painful, it’s driven people and animals to suicide. It’s been described as being sprayed with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.
When touched, this plant’s tiny, hollow hairs penetrate the skin. This causes some serious stinging, and that stinging can last from days to months.
The only way to remove the hairs is to pour diluted hydrochloric acid onto the affected area, and then wax the hairs out. But waxing must be done delicately, because if you do this wrong, it will only break the hairs, making the tips go deeper, and sting more.