The South American flower that looks like a monkey (and hopefully smells sweeter)
- Brian Shandra, 34, spotted the orchid on holiday in Ecuador
- 'Dracula simia' usually found in forests above 2,000 metres
A tourist in South America couldn't believe his eyes after stumbling across a flower resembling a monkey.
Brian Shandra, 34, was travelling in Ecuador where he visited Ecuagenera - a farm which specialises in orchids.
he wandered around he was stunned to come across the 'dracula simia', a
flower found in the cloud forests of Peru and Ecuador.
Spotted: The 'monkey orchid' Mr Shandra found,
left, is usually found in the cloud forests of Peru and Ecuador in South
America and bears an uncanny resemblance to a monkey
Brian, a research chemist from
Boston, USA, described it as a perfect example of a 'simian pareidolia'
where the face of a primate is seen in an entirely unrelated object.
He said: 'We were all shocked when all of a sudden we were confronted by all these little monkey faces staring back at us.
Doppleganger:The 'Monkey Orchid' is so-called for its resemblance to apes such as the golden monkey (file picture)
'The weird thing was that each one was a little bit different and almost seemed to have their own personalities.
'There was a happy one, a sad one, one with a little nose, big lips - a whole family. It was a little freaky.'
The dracula simia, known as
'the monkey orchid' is usually found in cloud forests more than
2,000metres above eye-level in Peru and Ecuador.
'Dracula' literally means 'little dragon' in reference to the two long spurs which protrude from the petals like fangs.
'Simia' refers to the plants monkey-like appearance.
The orchid was only named in 1978 by the botanist Luer, but is in a family containing over 120 species mostly found in Ecuador.
in the cloud mountains the Monkey Orchid can flower at any time - it is
not season specific.
It's scent resembles that of a ripe orange.
Edited by JamCaygirl - Jan 12 2013 at 8:54am