Steer Clear of the World's Most Dangerous Tree

@Corbin5 (96379)
United States
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
35 responses
@rebelann (37851)
• El Paso, Texas
16 Apr
I don't know why but it reminds me of an episode of the Xfiles.
4 people like this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
It is pretty creepy. Even standing near the tree can cause suffering for humans.
2 people like this
@rebelann (37851)
• El Paso, Texas
16 Apr
I'll bet even other species will steer clear of this tree @Corbin5
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
@rebelann Yes, they do stay away. The only creature who is immune to the toxins in the tree is the iguana.
2 people like this
@louievill (17706)
• Philippines
16 Apr
I wonder what purpose they serve in our eco-system.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
This tree provides excellent natural windbreaks. The roots of the tree also stabilizes the sand, thus helping to prevent beach erosion.
4 people like this
@amadeo (58839)
• United States
16 Apr
thank you for this information.This is new to me.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
I was not aware this tree existed either.
@amadeo (58839)
• United States
16 Apr
@Corbin5 what is wonderful.We learn new things every day.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
@amadeo Yes, I do love coming across something that is new to me. I will keep searching for more "new" things.
@porwest (1105)
• United States
17 Apr
That sounds like a pretty scary tree to have around or be around.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
Yes, even standing near the tree can harm humans. The sap will burn a hole in the skin.
2 people like this
@porwest (1105)
• United States
17 Apr
@Corbin5 Egads. This is a horrible tree.
2 people like this
@Marty1 (31398)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
17 Apr
Very good info to know and, as usual, great writing! My question is why did these people not call an ambulance to take poor Adam who was in excruciating pain to the hospital?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
I suppose they thought it quicker to take him by car. Perhaps ambulance service is not that reliable in Antigua.
1 person likes this
@Marty1 (31398)
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
18 Apr
@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?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
18 Apr
@Marty1 In the video, I believe he mentions, rather quickly, that he got too close to the smoke that resulted from burning of the wood of that tree. I am sure he survived; I hope so anyway.
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (15658)
• Genova, Italy
17 Apr
But if a manchineel tree were found in a wood, or in a "forset", how could it be recognized?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
Well, the trees are marked with either a red "X," a painted red band around the truck of the tree, or a sign is by the tree warning all to stay away.
2 people like this
@alberello75 (15658)
• Genova, Italy
17 Apr
@Corbin5 I understand, but do many of these trees exist?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
@alberello75 I do not think there are that many in the world today. The tree is considered endangered in the state of Florida.
2 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (24366)
• United States
19 Apr
I've never seen any or heard of them. I wonder if they're in my part of Florida ?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
19 Apr
They are found in southwest Florida.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (24366)
• United States
19 Apr
@Corbin5 I'm glad that I never encountered one
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
19 Apr
@Tampa_girl7 Me too!!!
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (9756)
18 Apr
Yikes! There is a song by the rock group "The Police" that comes to mind when I read how it's fruit and sap are so dangerous. The song's title, Don't Stand So Close To Me."
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
18 Apr
I bet it might be about that tree. I do know that just standing near the tree can cause nasty symptoms for a person.
1 person likes this
18 Apr
That song was not but this one is "Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree." Popularly done by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Although in this case, "NOT."
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
18 Apr
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (15106)
• United States
17 Apr
Wow, what a toxic tree ...I had no idea. Yikes
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
Yes, even standing near the tree can make a person sick.
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (15106)
• United States
18 Apr
@Corbin5 that is one hostile tree. A person with a large yard who wanted to keep people out should get some of these
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
18 Apr
1 person likes this
@aninditasen (1129)
• Raurkela, India
17 Apr
Why does the American government cut down such dangerous trees and plant useful ones in its place?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
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.
1 person likes this
• Raurkela, India
17 Apr
@Corbin5 Then it's useful too?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
@aninditasen It is. The wood of the tree can be used it the pieces of wood are left to dry in the sun so that the sap evaporates thoroughly.
@mom210 (6449)
• Atlanta, Georgia
17 Apr
I have never heard of this tree but just shows, don't go around taking a bite out of everything, think before you bite.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
Yes, caution is always wise when one stumbles upon something that looks like it would be edible.
1 person likes this
@mom210 (6449)
• Atlanta, Georgia
17 Apr
@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.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
18 Apr
@mom210 I remember being told the same thing. Glad Grandma warned you each time.
1 person likes this
@LeaPea2417 (18594)
• Toccoa, Georgia
17 Apr
I didn't know that tree existed! Thanks for the info. I learned something new today!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
I was surprised to learn of its existence too. Even standing near the tree can make a human quite sick.
1 person likes this
@LeaPea2417 (18594)
• Toccoa, Georgia
18 Apr
@Corbin5 Scary
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (27039)
17 Apr
@Corbin5 Deborah, thank you for telling us about the tree and to stay away from it. I am glad we do not have a tree like that here.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
I am glad there are no trees like that around here too.
1 person likes this
@Hannihar (27039)
17 Apr
@Corbin5 It sounds terrible Deborah.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (115934)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Apr
I've never heard of this tree but it sounds really dangerous. I wonder if there are many around.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
17 Apr
In Florida, it is an endangered tree, so I assume not that many in Florida. I would think there are not that many in other areas too.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (115934)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Apr
@Corbin5 There are some things that you really have to wonder why the good Lord made them, like manchineel trees and mosquitoes.
• United States
16 Apr
How does one be able to describe what the fruit off this tree tastes like if its sap is lethal ?
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
Radiologist Nicola Strickland, foolishly bit into a manchineel fruit back in 2000 on the Caribbean island of Tobago. A quote from her paper: "I rashly took a bite from this fruit and found it pleasantly sweet."
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Apr
@Corbin5 ah a Strickland (never mind my ex's last name is that) but well that is proof and I will steer clear of this fruit should I ever get to the places it grows , thank you
1 person likes this
@just4him (106865)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Apr
That's terrible! I saw a little of the video, awful, I can't imagine being in that much pain. I wonder what value the tree has.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
Even standing too close to the tree can cause one to have nasty symptoms.
1 person likes this
@just4him (106865)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Apr
@Corbin5 That's terrible.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (18298)
• India
16 Apr
I had never come across this interesting information.The video was very informative too.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
I did feel sorry for the fellow who was affected by the tree. He sure was suffering.
1 person likes this
@silvermist (18298)
• India
18 Apr
@Corbin5 Yes.I am thinking about persons who may have eaten the fruits of the trees,with out knowing they are poisonous.
1 person likes this
@MsBooklover (3629)
• United States
16 Apr
I have never heard of this. It reminds me of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Bible in that they were supposed to avoid it. I wonder if they could wear hazmat suits and cut them down.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
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.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Apr
@Corbin5 I am glad we don't have any here.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (141927)
• Switzerland
16 Apr
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.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
16 Apr
Yes, they must let the tree sit in the sun for a certain amount of time before the wood can be used.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (141927)
• Switzerland
17 Apr
@Corbin5 This is what I heard, I suppose that when the sapping is fully evaporated there is no more danger.
1 person likes this
@kepweng (9478)
21 Apr
i think tribes eat a Fruits in that tree
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96379)
• United States
21 Apr
That is possible.