Triffid

The triffid is a tall, mobile, carnivorous, prolific and highly venomous plant species.

Appearance and habits

Triffidwynd.gif

A triffid can be divided into three components: base, trunk, and head (which contains a venomous sting). European triffids never exceed eight feet, while those living in tropical areas can reach 10 feet. A small number of North American triffids manage to reach 60 feet in height.

The base of a triffid is a large muscle-like root mass comprising three blunt appendages. When dormant/docile, these appendages are rooted into the ground and are used to draw nutrients, as with a normal plant. When active, triffids use these appendages to propel themselves along at a moderate walking pace.

When it “walked” it moved rather like a man on crutches. Two of the blunt “legs” slid forward, then the whole thing lurched as the rear one drew almost level with them, then the two in front slid forward again. At each “step” the long stem whipped violently back and forth; it gave one a kind of seasick feeling to watch it. As a method of progress it looked both strenuous and clumsy—faintly reminiscent of young elephants at play. One felt that if it were to go on lurching for long in that fashion it would be bound to strip all its leaves if it did not actually break its stem. Nevertheless, ungainly though it looked, it was contriving to cover the ground at something like an average walking pace.

Booletriff.jpg

Above the base are upturned leafless sticks which the triffid drums against its stem. The exact purpose of this is not fully known. It is originally assumed that they are used to attract mates, although it is believed that they are really employed for communication. It is revealed that removal of these sticks causes the triffid to physically deteriorate. It is speculated that the vibrations made by the triffid’s sticks serve as a form of echolocation.

The upper part of a triffid consists of a stem ending in a funnel-like formation containing a sticky substance which traps insects, much like a pitcher plant. Also housed within the funnel is a stinger which, when fully extended, can measure 10 feet in length. When attacking, a triffid will lash out at its target using its sting, primarily aiming for its prey’s face or head, and with considerable speed and force. Contact with bare skin can kill a person instantly. Once its prey has been stung and killed, a triffid will root itself beside the body and feed on it as it decomposes by tearing at its softened flesh with its stinger and pulling the rotting meat into its funnel.

Triffids reproduce by inflating a dark green pod just below the top of their funnel until it bursts, releasing white seeds (95% of which are infertile) into the air.

Aquatic triffids remain largely unseen, with the exceptions of their stingers which are described as being prehensile, unlike those of land based triffids.

Intelligence

It is not clear whether or not triffids are intelligent or merely acting on set instincts. Triffids lack a central nervous system, they nonetheless display what could be considered an intelligence through their killing method:

there’s certainly intelligence there, of a kind. Have you noticed that when they attack they always go for the unprotected parts? Almost always the head—but sometimes the hands. And another thing: if you look at the statistics of casualties, just take notice of the proportion that has been stung across the eyes and blinded. It’s remarkable—and significant.

Later, after the Great Blinding, the triffids are observed to herd blind people into cramped spaces in order to pick them off more easily. Triffids are also observed to root themselves beside houses, waiting for the occupants to come out.

Triffid

Fratboys VS Triffids K_Rik