This is the World’s Most Dangerous Tree. It Can Kill You Three Different Ways
The manchineel currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the most dangerous tree on the planet. Nicknamed the “Tree of Death,” nearly every part of the tree is potentially lethal including the fruit, sap, and the bark. Based on the properties, aboriginal people used it to make poisoned arrows and may have caused the death of a famed explorer.
Native to the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico, and a large portion of South America, the manchineel is known to have caused serious injuries in those who have encountered it, and an arrow covered in the sap of the manchineel is said to have even been responsible for the death of Juan Ponce de Leon, a 16th century explorer.
The fruit of the manchineel, which resemble and taste like apples, can lead a person’s throat to close and can cause severe bleeding, and are shockingly consider the least toxic part of the tree.
Contact with the sap, a sticky substance that is white in color and constantly oozing from the tree, is known to cause severe blisters and blinding pain. If the sap is inhaled or enters a person’s bloodstream, it is lethal.
The sap is even a threat who those who don’t come in direct contact with the tree as, when it rains, the sap can drip down with the rainwater, covering anyone beneath.
When burned, the toxic smoke created by the bark has the potential to cause permanent blindness.
The Spanish referred to the manchineel as the “manzanilla de la muerte,” which translates to “little apple of death.”
Many of the trees are covered in warnings, letting passersby know not to come in contact with the tree due to its high level of toxicity.
Images of the injuries, shown in the video below, are quite graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.
h/t Mental Floss