Cactus Groot waves at humans in the Arizona desert; internet goes galactic

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Nov 11, 2019, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

Slather on that sunscreen and bring along plenty of bottled water, because we’re going Groot hunting… in the Sonoran desert. If you can’t see the fun in the wooden one’s latest Earthbound sighting, well, then maybe your silly meter is set just a tad too... dry.

Tucson, Arizona resident Anthony Finfrock saw something pretty Grooty about a Saguaro cactus he spied in someone’s yard, and thought enough of it to shoot a photo off to a Phoenix TV station. From there, it was just a matter of time before people started noticing.

Complete with well-placed eye holes, an appropriately wrinkly mouth, and a friendly, anthropomorphic pose, the Guardians of the Galaxy hero’s succulent doppelgänger has gone on to become a prickly internet hit. So far, cactus Groot has gotten more than 3,200 Facebook likes, and has been shared nearly 2,000 times.

We should probably assume, for safety’s sake, that those eye holes are the work of birds and not people. Like Groot himself, Arizonans take their plant defacement pretty seriously: State law forbids hacking away at Saguaro and other native plants — even if it’s to make them look more, ahem, Marvel-ous.

As for the real Groot, it looks as though we’ll be getting the smarty-pants emo version when he and the rest of the Guardians show up later this month for Avengers: Infinity War — as you can see from his game-addicted teenage sassing in Marvel’s “All of Them” Infinity War preview trailer above.

The end credits for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 already had given us a taste of what Groot promises to be like during his problem years, pitting his adolescent will against Star-Lord’s stern room-cleaning expectations in a silly send-up of what to expect as baby Groot (sorta) hits maturity. So maybe it’s a good thing he hasn’t actually met his spiny counterpart in Tucson —  because we’re not sure, given his angsty state of mind, that the two would hit it off.

Thankfully, we don’t actually have to drive all the way to Arizona to get our Groot fix: He and the rest of Marvel’s menagerie will be back in theaters when Infinity War ends our Avengers dry spell with its April 23 premiere.