Man Goes Viral After Raising Seven 'Caterpillar Children' He Found On Tesco Broccoli
Life took a bizarre turn for the radio presenter, from London, UK, a couple of weeks back when he discovered a caterpillar on a broccoli he was about to cook.
He subsequently bought another one from the supermarket, but this only introduced a further five caterpillars into his life - and then his housemate found one on his too, leaving them with seven caterpillars.
Hey @Tesco I was about to cook my favourite vegetable of all time (broccoli) and after unwrapping it, to my surprise, found caterpillars inside! They're really nice and we've ended up keeping one as a pet and naming him. but just as a heads up, some of your broc has c-pillars:flushed::bug: pic.twitter.com/3VLIQAEogG- Sam Darlaston (@samd_official) June 11, 2020
OH MY CHRIST. Just bought another broc and before I've even opened it I can see caterpillars :sob::bug: pic.twitter.com/xUBFmuiT5B- Sam Darlaston (@samd_official) June 11, 2020
Sam's initial tweet about the discovery amassed more than 100,000 likes, and rather than just chuck the caterpillars in the garden, he instead decided to raise them and document his progress as a father of seven.
With the help of the considerable following of the caterpillar thread, the gang were named Broc, Ollie, Cedric, Carlos, Croc, Janine, and Slim Eric.
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Being caterpillars, their development has been quite dramatic, with four of them now cocooned and several having quite literally spread their wings and flown the nest.
The OG caterpillar Cedric has begun evolving... is Caterpie is about to become Metapod :open_mouth: pic.twitter.com/sRRXnrR3qs- Sam Darlaston (@samd_official) June 12, 2020
Remember Cedric the caterpillar? Feel old yet? :bug: pic.twitter.com/EfTPqIlSXY- Sam Darlaston (@samd_official) June 22, 2020
The Spanish white cabbage butterflies - which are safe to release in the UK - have been welcomed by Sam's housemates; after all, you're lucky to have any sort of pet during lockdown.
Speaking to the Evening Standard about the experience of caterpillar fatherhood, 27-year-old Sam said: "I didn't think they would survive if I put them outside straight away. I read that caterpillars only eat their host plant and I didn't have any broccoli in the garden. So I thought, the best bet is to keep them with some broccoli and they can leave when they're older.
"The first one, within three days he was a cocoon, but the last one took around eight days. But I almost fast-tracked them because I gave them unlimited food. Three of them got out and were in the lounge. You're not meant to move them once they're cocooned, so one is just in the lounge.
"My housemates have just embraced it and now come and check how they are. They were alright with it, they were just like, 'that's how lockdown is going then, we now keep caterpillars'."
So it seems Sam got a lot more than he bargained for from his broccoli - plus Tesco refunded him £1.10 ($1.36). Result.
A spokesperson for the supermarket told LADbible: "It seems like a hungry caterpillar made its way into Sam's broccoli. We're really sorry about this and apologise to Sam for providing an accidental pet with his greens.
"We regularly test our fresh produce for quality but as we encourage our growers to move to more natural production methods and greatly reduce the application of pesticides, this can occasionally lead to the very odd insect being found."
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Sam Darlaston