As snot-nosed youths, my sister and I got a kick out feeding hapless crickets to a line Venus flytraps stationed on a windowsill in our folks' kitchen. It was grim and pretty sadistic, the more I look back on it. But it was a sobering lesson in the brutality of Nature. Watching the jaws clamp shut--and then laughing nervously over the final throes of the doomed little anthropods--I couldn't help, in some weird twist, but want to watch the whole tragedy play out from the eyes of an insect caught in the wrong place and the wrong time.
I still can't. Really, what's that like? What's it like being unexpectedly gobbled up by a flesh-eating plant?
Well, something like this. Using the latest in optical projection tomography, a 3D-microscopy imaging technique, the Inner Worlds Project takes us down the hatches of four "vessel-shaped leaves that evolved independently." From the Albany pitcher to the tropical pitcher, the bladderwort suction traps to the American pitcher, this is what passing the point of no return looks like. Delicious.