Steer Clear of the World's Most Dangerous Tree
April 16, 2018 11:23am CST
In southern North America and northern South American, there is a tree that holds the Guinness record for world's most dangerous tree, the manchineel tree. Humans who find themselves in the U.S. state of Florida should stay far away from the manchineel tree. Those in Mexico, Central America, the Bahamas, and the Carribbean need to beware of the manchineel tree too. Oh sure, the manchineel tree looks like an innocent apple tree, but it is not. Even the leaves on the manchineel tree look similar to the leaves on an apple tree. The Spanish name for the manchineel tree, marzanilla de la muerte, means "little apple of death." Do not eat what looks like an apple hanging from a branch belonging to a manchineel tree! Doing so can be fatal! The fruit on the manchineel tree tastes sweet at first, but that sweet taste is followed by a painful burning sensation. Then, some very serious gastrointestinal issues follow that require prompt medical care. The fruit of the manchineel tree causes a tightening in a person's throat that makes eating solid food nearly impossible. If it rains, humans should not seek cover under a manchineel tree. It is the toxic white sap of the manchineel tree that makes the tree a danger to humans. The sap mixed with a rain drop or two will cause huge blisters to form on a person's skin. If human skin comes in contact with the milky white sap of the manchineel tree, a very serious case of allergic dermatitis can result. Parking a car under a manchineel tree will turn that car into one that has severe paint damage. If a manchineel tree is burned, the smoke from that burning tree will damage the eyes. To protect humans from this dangerous tree, manchineel trees have trunks that display a big red "X." Sometimes, the manchineel tree has a red band painted around the trunk. Warning signs are often posted on or near the manchineel tree. Good luck if you find yourself in Bonaire. In Bonaire, for some strange reason, manchineel trees are not marked.
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36 people like this
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
@Corbin5 I never thought about how the ambulance service might not be the best. I hope that man is okay. Did it ever say how the man got poisoned by the tree and if he survived it? Did the video ever address that as i do not recall that being mentioned?
• United States
The trees found in other countries are allowed to grow too. The tree is endangered in Florida. Manchineel is occasionally used in folk medicine to treat parasitic disease of the skin. It is diuretic, and in 2-drop doses is reputed actively purgative. The Cubans make use of it in tetanus. It has been used in homeopathic medicine. The tree also serves as a wind break and prevents erosion.
• Atlanta, Georgia
@Corbin5 When I was a little girl my grandmother had a bush with little red berries on it. Every time I went outside she was say "and remember, you cannot eat the berries on the bush" I was always amazed those cute little berries were not good for me, they were sooo cute! How could they be bad? Now days I am just amazed she remembered to tell me EVERY time I went outside, I do not think I would remember to do that today and I am much younger then she was.
• United States
Well, the tree does provide excellent natural windbreaks, and its roots stabilize the sand, thus helping to prevent beach erosion. Those who know how to remain safe around the tree do have a method for using the wood of the tree. The parts of the tree to be used have to sit in the sun for a very long time to dry up the toxic sap, then the wood can be used.
I remember I have seen those trees on some beaches in the Caribbean. I usually never taste fruits and berries if I am not very sure that they are edible and safe. I know that in the Caribbean the wood is used, once dried it's no more toxic.