The devil lives in a tiny stretch of Columbian forest.
Well, not the devil per se. It’s actually just a devilishly interesting new orchid species that has just been discovered. The flower, which contains a maroon-colored reproductive structure resembling a devil’s head, has been dubbed Telipogon diabolicus.
Researchers described the discovery last week in the journal PhytoKeys.
Telipogon diabolicus may have been named after the devil, but it’s hardly in a heavenly situation. Researchers discovered just 30 of these flowers in a tiny patch of montane forest that could soon be paved over by ongoing road construction. Because of this small population and imminent risk, the researchers have declared the newly discovered species to be critically endangered with a very real threat of extinction.
It might not be alone in that risk. The researchers wrote that there are likely hundreds of other undiscovered orchid species in the Colombian countryside. The fear that they might be lost before being described by science is a hellish thought, indeed.