Trivia

Hard

The Tumbleweed, An Icon Of The American West, Actually Hails From?

Russia
Australia
Sudan
China

Answer: Russia

Although there are quite a few symbols that call to mind the frontier history of the American Westten gallon hats, spurs, and low-slung six gunsnothing quite says dusty old cowboy town like a tumbleweed, well, tumbling by.

While the tumbleweed might be synonymous with the wild west, it isn’t native to the American West (or even anywhere in the entire North, Central, or South American land masses for that matter). The invasive weed hitched a ride with Russian immigrants in the late 19th century. The immigrants brought flax seed from their home country and those seeds happened to be contaminated with the seeds of the weed Russian Thistle (Salsola tragus).

By the time anyone even noticed the weed spreading it was essentially impossible to control. One full-grown thistle contains around 250,000 seeds, and when the plant is fully mature it dries out, snaps off its stalk, and tumbles in the wind (quickly spreading the hardy and numerous seeds over a large area). Further, the plant requires very little precipitation and happily grows in adverse conditions.

Modern ranchers find the weed to be quite an annoyance as the weed displaces grazing grass and the dried up tumbleweeds gather along fences and buildings, thus posing quite a fire hazard, but we do owe the sturdy weed a little bit of credit. During the horrible drought of the 1930s Dust Bowl that decimated crop land in the region, the Russian thistle saved the beef industry: when nothing else would grow and regular feed was non-existent, the hardy thistle rapidly colonized the cattle pastures and entire herds of cattle survived on thistle alone.

Trivia

Hard

Whose Death Brought Twitter, Wikipedia, And Other Sites To Their Knees?

Trivia

Hard

What Ubiquitous Insects Are Actually Crustaceans?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Highest Grossing James Bond Film, Adjusted For Inflation, Is?

Trivia

Hard

Placebos Work Better If They?

Trivia

Easy

What Was The First Medical X-Ray Of?

Trivia

Hard

Vintage Marbles Glow Brilliantly Under Blacklight Thanks To What?

Trivia

Very Hard

The 1993 U.S. Senate Hearings Held Over Video Game Violence Focused On Mortal Kombat And?

Trivia

Hard

When You Rub Your Eyes And See Stars, You’re Seeing What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Popular Service Was Initially Considered An April Fools’ Joke?

Trivia

Hard

The Longest Running Movie Franchise In The World Is?