Manchineel: The dangers caused by this tree Is unbelievable! Read more!
Even though there's no shortage of deadly flora and fauna in the world, there's one tree on our planet that's as dangerous as its name suggests. We are talking about a tree called 'manchineel', often referred to as 'tree of death'.
The tree is so toxic that standing under it during rain will cause your skin to burn and blister. While eating fruit from the tree can cause internal bleeding and even death.
Manchineel is typically found on coastal beaches around the Caribbean and the Americas. The tree can be found on coastal beaches and in brackish swamps where it grows among mangroves, reaching heights of nearly 50 feet.
The tree produces a thick, milky sap, which oozes out of everything - the bark, the leaves and even the fruit - and can cause severe, burn-like blisters if it comes into contact with the skin.
This sap contains a range of toxins, but it's thought that the most serious reactions come from phorbol, an organic compound that belongs to the diterpene family of esters, as per ScienceAlert.
Because phorbol is highly water-soluble, you don't even want to be standing under a manchineel when it's raining - the raindrops carrying the diluted sap can still severely burn your skin.
The death tree or Manchineel tree is so poisonous, that even Guinness Book of World Records has recorded it to be the most dangerous tree in the world.
Because of how fatal the tree can be, in some parts of the tree's natural range they are painted with a red cross, a red ring of paint, or even paired with explicit warning signs.
We could just remove the tree, right?
We definitely could, but they play a valuable role in the local ecosystems - as it helps in stopping soil erosion that takes place due to waves of the sea, something that is important in the Caribbean.
There have been reports of severe cases of eye inflammation and even temporary blindness caused by the smoke of burning manchineel wood - not to mention the effects of inhaling the stuff.
Beware of this tree! And read more interesting stories only here!