Triffids are carnivorous, except they kill people first with a poisonous sting, then eat them when they are fully dead. Why had it happen? This thought, that mankind may very well have brought on their own destruction and in such an implausible way! So, this book, look, it was fine. But in his effort to describe the evolution of his post-apocalyptic society, I feel that Wyndham did not develop further on this enchanting bit of SF biology. The Day of the Triffids is exactly such a book.
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Origins[ edit ] In the novel , the origin of the triffid species is never explained. The main character, Bill Masen speculates as follows: My own belief. Had they been evolved anywhere but in the region they were, we should doubtless have had a well-documented ancestry for them. The seeds were spread across the globe when a plane smuggling them out of Russia was shot down during the Cold War. In the two-part TV series , the triffids are a naturally occurring species from Zaire , discovered by the West and selectively bred as an alternative to fossil fuels, to avert global warming.
David Seed Liverpool University Press , , Name[ edit ] Triffid refers to the plantas three "legs", from trifidus,  Latin for "split into three parts". Initial appearance and cultivation[ edit ] The first triffids appear in equatorial regions. Although they develop faster in tropical zones, triffids soon establish themselves worldwide outside the polar and desert regions. When it is discovered that triffids are carnivorous, they are almost exterminated, until they are identified as the source of valuable oil, and farms are built to cultivate them.
Upon discovery that docking their stingers renders them harmless, docked triffids soon become fashionable in public and private gardens.
These triffids are safe provided they are pruned annually, as they take two years to fully regrow their stings note: farmed triffids are not docked because undocked triffids produce better oil. In the novel[ edit ] A botanical drawing of a triffid by Bryan Poole for the Science Fiction Classics The plant can be divided into three components: base, trunk, and head which contains a venomous sting.
Adult triffids are typically 7 feet 2. European triffids never exceed 8 feet 2. The base of a triffid is a large muscle-like root mass, comprising three blunt appendages. When dormant, these appendages draw nutrients, as on a normal plant. When active, triffids use these appendages to propel themselves. 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.
Above the base are upturned leafless sticks which the triffid drums against its stem. Removal of the sticks causes the triffid to physically deteriorate. Also housed within the funnel is a stinger which, when fully extended, can measure 10 feet 3.
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 feeds on it as it decomposes. 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.
Also, their stinger is shown as a gas-propelled projectile, rather than a coiled tendril. Finally, the film triffids are vulnerable to sea water. The TV adaptation shows the triffids dragging themselves with prehensile roots which can also constrict their prey. Their stingers, which in previous film adaptations could not penetrate glass, are powerful enough to shatter windows, like those of the original triffids of the novel.
Instead of a cup they have a pink flower-like head, resembling a cross between a lily and a sweet pea , that enlarges before releasing the sting. In the online videogame Kingdom of Loathing , triffids are a monster located within an area known as "the Spooky Forest". Other uses of the name[ edit ] Chromolaena odorata is known as a "triffid" throughout the Durban area of South Africa. It poses no threat to humans unless ingested, as it is carcinogenic.
The Day of the Triffids
Shelves: reads Some books can be quite ill-served by their title. But you gotta agree - a more appropriate title for this unexpected gem of a book such as "How complete disintegration of society and civilization as we know it, the sudden helplessness and the painful realization how little it takes to throw us off our tenuous Some books can be quite ill-served by their title. This book is really about survival in the midst of disintegrating society and all the implications of it that go against the frequent and quite stereotypical portrayal of such happenings. All it took was a case of worldwide blindness after a breathtakingly beautiful meteor shower that left the vast majority of humans blind, and in the resulting confusion and struggle present-day civilization found its end.
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