What in the world do you think the explanation behind this strange new occurrence is? Stories have been popping up across the country of people finding unsolicited packages in the mail - and inside the packages are mystery plant seeds that appear to have been shipped from China. They've been found in mailboxes from Washington to Alabama, and many states in between. And yep, Montana has even reported cases. As of now, officials in 27 states have issued warnings about not planting the seeds.

Packages have been reported to contain pouches of seeds with Chinese lettering and misleading descriptions of the contents inside. Some have been labeled as jewelry, toys, or earbuds, but once opened all that's found is the mystery seeds.

Agriculture officials are trying to relay the importance of not planting unknown seeds because it could result in a number of unwanted scenarios. A few of the possibilities include introducing noxious weeds, planting an invasive or harmful type of plant, and the seeds could contain unknown plant pathogens or even viruses.

Seed recipients are advised to not even touch them in an effort to throw them away, for fear of having them end up in a landfill and start to grow. Instead, contact the Montana Department of Agriculture for further instruction.

So what's up with the seeds? A simple prank from unknown pranksters? A diabolical scheme to have people unwittingly plant something harmful? There's even thoughts of a possible identity theft situation. It'll be interesting to see what this story develops into.

If you receive a package of unsolicited seed, call the MDA at (406) 444-3950 or contact them by email at bballensky@mt.gov.

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