Here's Why That Flower Is Actually Called A "Bird Of Paradise"

    Is it a bird in flight or a goofy face?

    This is a Strelitzia. It's a flowering plant that is native to South Africa — but you might know it by its more common name: the bird of paradise.

    The bird of paradise isn't just found in Africa. It pops up in Australia and the US, too. A pretty plant with lush green leaves and a long, stalked flower, it can grow inside and out.

    While it's referred to as a crane flower by many South Africans, the "bird of paradise" label is also common because of the flower's resemblance to a bird.

    Most people draw these dots together themselves, but what many are suddenly realising is that the flower doesn't resemble a bird in the way they thought.

    That's right. The "bird" part of the flower isn't some goofy, cockatoo-esque thing. It's actually meant to resemble a bird in flight.

    The revelation was first made on Reddit. "I'm 37 years old, and just today realized it's called bird of paradise because it looks like the left picture, not the right," wrote Reddit user Charmito.

    The post quickly went to the front page of Reddit. There was a lot of learning to be done, apparently.

    Since then the observation has made its way to Twitter and Facebook. Turns out there were more than a few people whose minds were blown.

    Reddit has a lot of garbage, but also a lot of gold, such as "I'm 37 years old, and just today realized it's called bird of paradise because it looks like the left picture, not the right..." https://t.co/gnElvCPCyM https://t.co/n3UDsg3ngO

    Only took me 30 years to realise it is called Bird of Paradise due to the left pic, not the right 😦 What a TIL

    Of course, this hasn't stopped some people from denying – going out to their own gardens to manually sort out the bird's identifying features.

    To be honest, it will always be goofy face for me.

    Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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