Originally Posted by Betterhaff
It's sometimes called the "Jumping Cholla" and grows in the SW, mainly Sonora. It usually grows in loose, soft soil/sand and when one gets close to it the pressure from the person's/thing's weight depresses the ground causing the cactus to lean towards them thus another nick "Leaning Cactus." The barbs are very tenacious (think burrs) and the segments detach easily. Actually it's a method of propagation.
I bet that golfer was probably more concerned about rattlesnakes while looking for his ball. Never expected that, lol.
Edit: watch the second video that follows. For a seasoned outdoorsman he sure does a stupid thing, lol.
They don't jump or lean, but it seems like they do, because the slightest touch will cause them to stick to you.
A few months ago, my dog got into some cholla cactus at our ranch in Arizona. The cactus drops limbs, which can take root and grow into new plants. Although I kept my dog well away from the jumping cactus while walking her on a leash, I did not see one limb on the ground and her front leg was stuck with spines. She thought she was bit by something and in turn she bit the cactus that was stuck onto her leg. That put many spines into her nose and mouth, including her gums, tongue, and the roof of her mouth.
When pulling the spines out of her nose, you could tell that it was really painful, since she reacted strongly to each pull. And she is a pit bull with a high pain tolerance. By tying her up closely, while I held her, my wife was able to get most of the spines out using pliers, but there remained some in her gums, tongue, and the roof of her mouth, so we had to take her to the vet, who knocked her out and got the rest of the spines out.