We've all heard about big fish in little ponds, but have you ever heard of giant lily pads? We hadn't either, but we're so happy to have learned about them now, especially since it's for an encouraging reason: The beautiful plants are returning to a place where the locals were sure they had already gone extinct.
In a gorgeous lagoon in the South American country Paraguay, giant lily pads were popular with both residents and visitors — until they slowly began to disappear due to dredging and visitors collecting the plants. Giant lily pads were even listed as endangered back in 2006. But the magnificent lilies, known for both their incredible shape and their ability to grow to nearly 5 or 6 feet in size, just made a very welcomed and well-received return to that same lagoon.
"I have lived in the area since I was a child. The neighbors and I thought the plant had already become extinct, but it has returned," Antonio Benítez, a local resident, told The Associated Press (in Spanish).
As you might expect, their return has also excited many tourists, eager to take photos of the natural wonder and also take boat rides to see the giant lily pads up close. Meanwhile, some locals like to use the plant to create a medicinal tea. However, authorities are warning that anyone caught trying to harvest the plant this time around could be fined.
As for us, we're just enjoying taking in the fabulous beauty of these wonderful plants. Isn't nature amazing?
Next, learn about five natural alternatives to sugar that are still totally sweet: