*Pulled from Ep. 1123 of the Moe Osbourne Podcast
Osbourne: …this watch though is a piece of shit. The only reason I keep it is because it’s this point I prove to myself. Do you have things like that? Do you know what I mean? Like, I keep this watch because it doesn’t always work and because it’s a piece of shit.
Ōe: Because of a memory of some kind?
Osbourne: No, well, kind of I guess. More of a reminder. Like, I don’t even need a watch. I have my phone.
Osbourne: But this shitty watch keeps this part of me a part of me. I can’t explain it, but something primitive. Like a lucky pair of boxers.
Ōe: I believe I think of my shoes in a similar fashion.
Osbourne: Oh man those are some beat-up kicks you have on down there.
Ōe: I only like to have one pair at a time. I’ve never understood the concept of a dress shoe.
Osbourne: Looks like you’re about ready for a new pair my friend.
Ōe: I’ve been too afraid to make the commitment.
Osbourne: Your arches must be shot.
Ōe: A foot arch is a luxury.
Osbourne: (Laughs) You’re a funny guy. Here, let’s jump into things. Moe Osbourne here and on today’s podcast we have botanist Dr. David Ōe from Humboldt State University up in Arcata, California, here to talk about the disappearance of the, what is it, the, the Indigo Purple Vampire Fern.
Osbourne: A botanist. David thank you so much for being here.
Ōe: Happy to be.
Osbourne: So I didn’t know about this thing until a few months ago. My daughter actually told me about it. Something she saw online. To be completely honest, I thought it was complete bullshit. I still sort of do.
Ōe: Well, yes. I get it.
Osbourne: I mean it doesn’t make sense to me.
Ōe: Oh yes. It doesn’t. It doesn’t make sense to us either if it helps. But it’s real. I’ve seen it, and also not seen it. In person, it’s one of the most spectacular plants. Even if it wasn’t invisible to images and such, as a botanist I’d be eager to jump its cells. It’s beautiful in person.
Osbourne: Is that what you guys say? Jump cells. Like you’re fucking the plants you study?
Ōe: (Laughs) It’s something I picked up in grad school. Plants can be a good time too, you know.
Osbourne: (Laughs) But this thing looks different to each person that sees it? I’m supposed to believe that?
Ōe: I can only say that my colleagues report different variations. Different than my own reports, definitely.
Osbourne: Dude this totally feels like the whole world is trying to play a trick on me. I swear it’s like you and all this news about the fern are in this ridiculous dream I’m in.
Ōe: (Laughs) It’s a really special thing for me, to have studied it.
Osbourne: Alright, yeah. So you’re the guy who dissected this thing.
Ōe: Well, I’ve analyzed some of its cells.
Ōe: It’s interesting. It behaves like other plants on a cellular level. But even when we went to take photos of our microscope slides, the cells completely disappeared in each image. It makes it difficult to document in more recent, conventional ways. Artists have become even more useful to us in this way.
Osbourne: Well then, I’ve seen the sketches and art and stuff online. You get some crazy shit.
Osbourne: I mean this stuff is wacked. It’s like a DMT trip man. I can’t tell if people are fucking with me.
Ōe: When you look at it, you can’t be sure that it’s the same for the person standing next to you. So these artist renderings provide a window into the phenomena.
Ōe: I know.
Osbourne: And this actually exists?
Ōe: It does.
Ōe: I know.
Osbourne: Well I’m settled then. Seeing you say this shit, I’m sold.
Ōe: Well I’m honored.
Osbourne: No really, I just – I don’t know man. Like what does this all say about the nature of the universe?
Ōe: We’re only beginning to dig into those questions with the fern. It’s funny to me to go online and read the deep conspiracies people have about it. From it not existing at all, to it being a god.
Osbourne: Well yeah you have people out there talking about this being some underground government conspiracy.
Ōe: And there are some compelling arguments made out there.
Osbourne: And they’re all bullshit.
Ōe: All bullshit.
Osbourne: Man, but what if it is a god?
Ōe: Maybe it is.
Osbourne: It’s just, you know if you’re a Christian or whatever, it’s been over two thousand years since anything truly spiritual has come to the earth. Like it was Christ and then nothing. According to the texts, you have all this divine intervention leading up to him and then boom, silence. Then this Vampire Fern.
Ōe: Then the fern. But I’m hesitant to assign any spiritual value to it. Yeah, I mean who knows how long the fern has been with us, or even how many there are out there. As far as we know this is the only one.
Osbourne: Just one. I find that hard to believe.
Ōe: I also do. But if we’re wrong, then it makes the news even more devastating.
Osbourne: Right, yeah so let’s get into that. Orca suits?
Ōe: Yes. I know.
Osbourne: Like what? (Laughs)
Ōe: (Laughs) I know.
Osbourne: So two punks put these Halloween costumes on. Looking like these felt, wobbly trick or treaters. They break in and steal this thing?
Osbourne: You know I’ve watched the video probably about a hundred times. It’s ridiculous.
Ōe: Yes. Two people wearing orca suits walk in and walk out with a giant planter with nothing but dirt inside.
Osbourne: I know. It looks stupid.
Ōe: It looks very stupid. And it’s a shame. The impact on the scientific community has been rough.
Osbourne: My condolences man. And these guys haven’t been caught?
Ōe: They’re still out there.
Osbourne: I mean I get it. I’d probably love to have this thing to. It seems stupid to steal it though. Like who could you tell? Well and, right, yeah, it’s got to be near impossible to find. You can’t take a fucking picture of it.
Ōe: Trust me, I know…
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