Why Do Cactus Needles Hurt

Cactus needles can cause immense pain when trespassing on the skin. Prickles lodge inside the epidermis and cause irritation, inflammation, and even infection in some cases. However, why do cactus needles hurt so much?

The answer lies in the unique design of cactus spines — they’re curved backward like fish hooks. This means their tip remains embedded in the skin after puncture instead of falling out easily. It also applies more force into a smaller area allowing for deeper penetration.

Plus, many types of cacti, like those from the Opuntia genus, have barbed prickles that further hinder extraction. The external layer is water-resistant to trap moisture and stop it from evaporating, with hydrophobic waxes designed to repel prey or predators looking for a tasty snack.

Finally, there’s an additional layer of invisible hardness made from cellulose bonded by calcified material, which is both rigid and springy; in other words, perfect for puncturing skin! The result? Cacti arms act as little land mines ready to blow up at any time!

Cacti prickles may only be tiny, but they’re built for maximum ouch-factor – especially if you come into contact with one unprepared!

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