It’s finally happening. The trees are turning on us, just like in The Happening except they’re robbing us of oxygen instead of robbing us of our will to live. Well, not really, but that is what a doctor in Cambodia is offering as an explanation for the 136 students at a high school in Kompong Cham who fainted while being forced to stand at attention in the hot sun for an unspecified amount of time “as punishment for not showing deference to the national flag”. Yeah, I’m sure it was the trees that caused the fainting.
“According to the hospital’s analysis, the reason why the students fainted is [because of] the huge tree in the school compound and the farmland surrounding the school, which absorbed the oxygen,” said Heng Meng, police chief of Chamkar Leu district, adding that the punishment could not be blamed as one of the teachers “also [had difficulty breathing] and felt dizzy”. […] A doctor from the local hospital, Iv Then, said that based on his examination, the lack of oxygen was due to an abundance of trees, which trapped the oxygen, adding that the first four or five students fainted because they were standing under the school’s large medicinal oil tree. [Phnom Penh Post via io9, emphasis mine]
Trees do not work that way.
“Say hello to your mother for me.”