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“Tree of Death” dangerous far beyond its forbidden fruit

Just think, if Eve had plucked a fruit from the Manchineel tree, we wouldn’t even be here to write about its grisly powers of doom.

It isn’t only the fruit of this plant native to the Caribbean, Florida, the Bahamas, and parts of Central and South America that packs a poisonous punch, though; sap, bark, wood, leaves, and the apple-like fruit all contain toxins, some of which have never even been identified.

According to IFL Science, iguanas have been spotted living in the tree and snacking on the fruit, though humans shouldn’t go anywhere near it. In fact:

There are even stories of Caribbean tribes using the sap as an “au naturel” torture device. After tying their captives to the tree, they would then wait for the rain to wash the tree’s highly water-soluble sap over their body. The sap is so packed with toxins, contact with skin can cause blistering, burning and severe irritation.

So, if you’re wandering along the beach with an appetite, resist the temptation to eat local and wait until you get back to the resort, or it could be your last meal.

Full story at IFL Science via Neatorama.

Deadly plants.

Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert/CC-BY-SA-4.0, Graphics credit: Canva

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