Most of my the knowledge I have gleaned about cactuses comes directly out of old episodes of Looney Tunes. And judging by the state of those cartoon character's butts, they're not exactly considered the most romantic plant on the planet. If somebody gave you a cactus on Valentine's Day, you'd probably be like, "Well, this is more creative than breaking up over text, so thanks?" But plot twist: It turns out cactuses are, at least for part of their life cycle, quite beautiful. In case you need proof, there's a video showing cactus flowers blooming in slow motion, and the images will basically change how you feel about these gnarly green plants forever.
The reason you don't see a lot of flowers blooming on cactuses very often is because they only live there for a day at the most. It is rare to even catch a flower blooming on a cactus, let alone film it. Greg Krehel, the creator of this mind-bending video, meticulously watches the plants in his collection to determine the window when the flowers are about to bloom. The processes seen in these gifs are actually the forward motion of about eight hours of blooming. The flowers are only at their peak of beauty for an hour or two, according to Krehel, which is why he works so closely with the plants to preserve the images.
Behold the envy of all flowers everywhere:
I'm pretty sure you could accidentally hypnotize yourself watching this, TBH.
This will teach you to make snap judgments about prickly things. (I feel like there's a dirty joke in there somewhere, but I'm just going to move on.)
These flowers are basically the supernovae of the cactus world.
"Hi, yes, I would like to become a cactus in my next life, please and thank you."
Here's the video that Krehel put together in its entirety:
The even better news is that cactus blooming season happens around April every year, which means you have just enough time to find the nearest dessert, plop yourself down, and stare until a miracle happens. All of the images from the video were taken indoors, but you can get a glimpse of what they look like in the wild from these gifs.
Wherever you plan to stalk some cactus blooms this spring, remember: LOOK, don't touch.