These look like friendly, normal trees, right? Wouldn't hurt anyone.
Well, you're wrong. Watch this pollen bomb video.
Yes, that is an explosion of pollen. Yes, it might make you feel like sneezing.
The video was posted by Jennifer Henderson, who lives in Millville, New Jersey. Her husband works for the city and was doing brush clearing on Monday.
"He had picked up one of the branches and tapped it and was like, 'oh my gosh.' All this pollen fell off of it," Henderson told BuzzFeed News.
That made him wonder what would happen if he tapped the tree with his digger.
And BOOM. Pollen party.
The video has now gone viral, with more than 3 million views. Henderson said she's surprised but also knows that seasonal allergies are a pretty relatable plight. And yes, what you're seeing is exactly the stuff making you sneeze.
"That is indeed pollen it's shaking off and probably made things more miserable for allergy sufferers nearby!" said Dr. Robert Sporter, an allergist in New York City.
"Pollen is the powdery substance released by plants when they bloom. In many parts of North America, including the Northeast, spring allergies are caused by tree pollens, whereas summer allergies are caused by grass pollens and fall allergies by weed pollens," he told BuzzFeed News.
It's also not just your imagination — it really is a bad year for spring allergies. Sporter said a long, cold winter causes all those allergens to be released at once, making things very intense for people who are sensitive to pollen. Allergies are an overblown immune reaction to proteins or substances that generally aren't a danger to the body, and may have no effect on people who aren't sensitive to the substance.
Allergy symptoms can include a stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. You can treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Benadryl, among others. An allergist can conduct tests to see exactly what's triggering your allergy symptoms, and sometimes immunotherapy with allergy shots or drops can help reduce symptoms.
Sporter said it's also a good idea to minimize the effects by staying inside during the morning, wearing sunglasses, keeping your windows closed, and showering when you get home to get all that pesky pollen off.
Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
Contact Lauren Strapagiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.