PRESS Title : The World's Most Dangerous Tree
Visit Count : 1330 Time(s)
Press Time : 2 Year(s) ago
Source Name : iana
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - iana
Visit Count : 1330 Time(s)
Press Time : 2 Year(s) ago
Source Name : iana
In 1999, radiologist Nicola Strickland took a trip to the Caribbean island of Tobago. It was a vacation he would remember for the rest of his life. Not because of the tranquil ocean sunsets or the lush, green landscapes, but because he survived a brush with one of the world's most poisonous trees.Strickland recounted his experience in the British Medical Journal.
His cautious senses disarmed by the innocuous serenity of the tropical paradise, Strickland picked up one of the fruits and took a bite, finding it pleasantly sweet, like a "ripe plum." He quickly urged his friend to sample the unexpected treat.Strickland and his friend attempted a rudimentary form of self-medication, but their efforts did little to help.Fortunately, the apparent poisoning subsided the next day.
When Strickland sought out the cause for he and his friend's discomfort, the answer quickly became clear: It was the manchineel tree.
Noted for its greyish bark, shiny leaves and small, apple-like fruits, the tree is native to Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. And it's not a plant to be messed with; every part of it will hurt you. In fact, the Carib Indians would tie enemy captives the trunk of the manchineel as a form of torture. The milky sap, which contains a skin irritant called phorbol, causes blistering, burning, and inflammation upon contact with the skin. Merely touching the bark or leaves also engenders dermatitis. Even just standing under the tree when it's raining will trigger symptoms, as four unfortunate students discovered during a rainstorm while vacationing in the West Indies. Eating the tree's "forbidden" fruit produces the worst effects, as Strickland and his friend found out.
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