United States

Beware Of This Mysterious Plant While Hiking In California's Sierra Nevada Mountains

A hiker in California's Sierra Nevada mountains felt numb in her legs after being stung by a mysterious attacker. Turns out it was not an insect but a plant.

Pexels
Representative images Photo: Pexels
info_icon

Last week, rescuers in California's Sierra Nevada mountains launched a rescue operation for a hiker who suddenly lost feeling in her legs due to a mysterious attacker.

The hiker, whose identity has not been disclosed, had stopped around 6:30 pm to fetch water from a creek along the Taboose Pass trail when she felt a sting she initially thought was from a spider bite.

“Afterwards, she was unable to feel the skin on her legs and could not continue her hike down,” Inyo County Search & Rescue officials said in a statement.

Using the last bit of her phone's battery, the woman called for help and provided her coordinates just before the device died.

Rescue teams prepared for the operation, pushing a wheeled litter 1.75 miles from the trailhead towards the stranded hiker. However, rough terrain forced them to abandon the litter a quarter mile from the victim's location. The rescuers continued on foot, eventually finding the woman. They then "slowly walked down the tricky section of the trail while ensuring her safety with ropes."

The entire rescue operation took more than five hours.

In the days following the incident, medical officials said that the woman had not been bitten by a spider. Instead, they concluded she had been stung by stinging nettles, which grow along the overgrown trail.

"Rescuers believe that the individual who needed rescuing was stung by stinging nettles located on the overgrown trail," Lindsey Stine of the county sheriff’s office said.

Stinging nettles Photo: Pinterest
info_icon

The hiker had inadvertently walked through a patch of stinging nettles while attempting to avoid snow on the Mather Pass. Stinging nettles are equipped with hairs that inject formic acid and other irritants into the skin, causing a burning, tingling sensation and an itchy rash.

The symptoms of stinging nettle contact typically do not last longer than 24 hours. The sheriff’s department confirmed that the hiker is believed to be recovering well.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement