by Low Lai Chow in New Photography on Wednesday 24 October 2012

Why did the kitten cross the river… nah, how? Why, it had the help of a giant water lily — specifically, the Queen Victoria (Victoria regia) water lily, a monstrously huge plant that can reach up to 8 feet in diameter and hold up to a hundred pounds. The National Geographic notes that the ‘air trapped in the spaces between its ribs’ (what, it has ribs?) is what keeps it afloat. This 1938 Alfred T. Palmer photo from the National Geographic Image Collection is evidence, and it makes us want to re-enact the scene in modern-day 2012 with full-sized tigers instead of cute little kittens. You know, just to see if all this plant power’s as cracked up as it seems.