There’s always been something classy about figs; you can find them in daiquiris, scented soaps, and they always taste better on holiday. (Fine - fig rolls aren’t so classy, but you get the picture.)
But unfortunately for any fig lovers out there, we have some disturbing news: figs are part of a really gross natural cycle involving wasps.
A video by Gross Science reveals how pregnant female wasps climb into figs and transform the fruits’ insides into giant, incestual wasp orgies:
“In most species, pregnant female fig wasps carrying pollen are attracted to young figs. They enter through a tiny opening at the fig’s bottom that’s highly selective,” it explains.
“The wasp’s goal is to find a home for her babies, and the perfect home is inside the fig’s female flowers.”
So, the mother wasp drops a fertilised egg into as many of the flowers as she can - sometimes up to a few hundred - then dies inside the fig.
And then: “Each baby wasp begins to grow, encased in a protective structure that the plant forms called a gall.
“The male wasps mature first. When they emerge, they find the galls of the female wasps – many of whom are their sisters – poke inside, and impregnate them before they’ve even hatched.”
Figs cancelled. fruit cancelled. Nature cancelled pic.twitter.com/XM8mCUZviF— KirkaneriOfTheIronFo (@ILLCapitano94) September 19, 2016
“Then the males die inside the fig, but not before boring tiny holes through the fig’s skin.”
Then the females emerge, pick up some pollen from the fig, and fly out though the holes their brothers left them in order to start the whole process again.
In other words, if you’re planning on eating a fig soon, remember that it may have hosted wasp sex, hundreds of wasps eggs and wasp carcasses.
Perhaps we’ll just eat a pear next time instead.
What do you think about the secret life of figs? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.