Our world is covered with plants and we are surrounded by it. Even if we think of them as our friends, and want a greener, better world, there are some which are REALLY, REALLY deadly. It’s not just picking petals or tasting berries that can kill, in some cases, just approaching the plant is enough to die.
Meet the Manchineel Tree – standing 30-feet tall, and found throughout the Florida Everglades, Central America and the Caribbean, it is the most badass (read: deadliest) tree in the world.
In ancient times, people who discovered the deadliness of the tree used the poisonous sap of the tree against their enemies.
The Carib natives were said to use the sap on their arrow heads, poison the wells of their enemies with the leaves and even tie some unfortunate victims to the trunk of the tree.
Any contact with the poison in the sap can cause blistering.
Contact with the sap in any way provokes strong allergic dermatitis – if you’re standing under the tree when it is raining, the sap which contains phorbol, a strong skin irritant, can cause blistering on your whole body.
A tiny amount of phorbol can strip the paint off parked cars too.
Every part of this tree is stuffed with powerful toxins. Bearing fruits called ‘little apples of death’, the fruit is said to be potentially lethal if consumed.
Ingestion of the deceptively sweet, crabapple-like fruits is known to blister the mouth and cause the throat to swell shut, then inflict severe gastrointestinal problems. These harmful effects result from the toxin hippomane A and B, which are present in every part of the tree.