Science Alert’s “5 Incredibly Weird And Deadly Places You Didn’t Hear About in School” includes “under a manchineel tree”


At #5 in their list (for the complete list go to Jacinta Bowler’s oriiginal report):

5. This tree in the Caribbean that you can’t stand underneath when it rains

The Caribbean island of Tobago is a tropical paradise complete with idyllic, deserted beaches.

But in 1999, radiologist Nicola Strickland went on a holiday there, and she and her friend found some sweet-smelling green fruit that looked like crabapples.

Both decided to take a bite, and within moments the sweet taste was overwhelmed by a peppery, burning feeling and an excruciating tightness in the throat.

According to the Guinness World Records, this tree, called a manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella) is in fact the most dangerous in the world.

One of the tree’s toxins, known as phorbol, is highly water soluble, so you can’t even stand underneath the tree when it rains without being burnt by the toxin. In fact, Christopher Columbus apparently described the fruit as ‘death apples‘. Pleasant.

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