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The "Tree Of Death" Is Every Bit As Scary As It Sounds

The name "Tree Of Death" conjures up images of skull shaped fruit and gnarly faces forming in tree trunks, but more often than not trees earn morbid nicknames for less obvious reasons.

In the case of the Manchineel tree has earned the nickname "Tree Of Death" by growing highly toxic fruit dubbed "death apples" that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death.

People who make the mistake of touching the Manchineel tree receive chemical burns from the caustic sap it exudes, and the apples are so dangerous Caribbean nations have taken to posting warning signs to protect tourists.

Scientists believe most of the Manchineel tree's deadly power comes from the organic compound phorbol, which can be found in every bit of the tree, from leaf to bark to fruit.

Read more about the "Tree Of Death" here


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IF these trees are so deadly then why aren't these trees cut down and burnt so they will all die out and no one will ever have the dangerous trees near them, ever again?
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A couple of links in, there is a page by the University of Florida with this note:

"Manchineel has been used to make furniture since colonial times, with the poisonous sap thought to become neutralized by drying the wood in the sun. However, those working with the fresh-cut wood must be careful, since interacting with the poisonous sap can be a strong irritant to any part of the body. "

Furniture! Maybe it could have been used to make torture racks for the Spanish Inquisition!
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