Grandpa Ding told Sohu News: “I was cleaning the pipes, then my hand touched something fluffy.” Ding says he was surprised to see the patch of tiny white flowers growing on the smooth steel. “The stems are slimmer than human hair, and altogether there are 38 small white flowers on top,” he said.

flowers

The flowers open in the mornings, then close when the sun grows strong. Each flower has a diameter of 1mm.

Ding has consulted his neighbours, who believe the flowers are the legendary Youtan Poluo flower, which blossoms only once every 3,000 years. “No soil, no water. These flowers can bring me good luck,” he added.

However, Ananova readers have been emailing to tell us the ‘flowers’ are most likely lacewing insect eggs.