Oh gross! Alien tomato seedlings are going to devour your brain! Photo: mykal

Imagine this: You're sitting down to enjoy a salad made with a beautiful, ripe tomato just picked from the garden. You slice it open and......there are seeds sprouting inside!

That disgusting sight recently greeted reader Mary P. "I was visiting with a lady friend and she sliced a tomato for lunch," Mary says. "Inside the tomato some of the seeds had sprouted and were green. The tomato was fresh off the vine! How did this happen without sunshine?"

Answer: It's the aliens! Aliens have traveled many light-years from their war-torn planet and infested our garden vegetables! If you eat this tomato, the aliens will grow inside you, take over your brain, and soon transform the Earth into Tomato World! Oh, the horror! That is precisely why Grumpy never eats uncooked tomatoes.

Now for the much less interesting truth. Although seeds sprouting inside a tomato isn't normal, it happens more frequently than you might think. The seeds don't need sunshine to sprout. After all, sun doesn't touch seeds in the ground. Internal seed sprouting happens mostly with store-bought tomatoes that were chilled during shipping. The seeds think they've just gone through winter and now it's spring and time to sprout. So maybe that "garden-fresh tomato" wasn't fresh at all! You need to do a better job of choosing friends, Mary. Just sayin.