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Mancinella. The most dangerous tree in the world that can kill you

Why do we need dangerously poisonous plants? The answer can be found in the narrative of the genus Mancinella, which produces the fruits terribly called the Apples of Death. Three centuries ago, when it was widespread, you would not find anyone crazy enough to taste them all over the Caribbean. And now that it's almost extinct, it's paradoxically even more dangerous.

Mancinella is a beautiful tree that you will not miss on the beach. Smooth, light bark with a red-gray touch, broadly rooted roots to the surface and lush green solids. Splendor. Under favorable conditions it is able to grow up to fifteen meters in height and due to its submerged shape, its involved growth is an ideal windbreak. And its massive root system fixes and stabilizes the soil to prevent erosion and eradication. That's why he protects him like an eye in his head on the tiny remnants of his original campus today. Everywhere else he was eradicated.

Enemy # 1? Shrubs from the beach!

Originally, it was a very plentiful tree that grew on the beaches and in the places where the sand passed into mangroves. Florida, Bahamas, Mexico, North America. Everywhere here, mancinella was home and was doing a very good job in stabilizing offshore ecosystems. The original inhabitants of America kept this tree in sacred respect, but the colonists from Europe ruined it to meet. Why? It can not be accurately estimated how much of their lives they are responsible for. Mancinella is the real tree of death, probably the most dangerous species of the world.

The poison you will remember for the rest of your life

The mound of this tree contains a substance called forbol, which is strongly corrosive in contact with human skin. The forbole is virtually saturated with the entire specimen, bark, branches and leaves. By the way, that's why they are so fresh and green: even insects avoid them. You do not have to worry about breathing around the tree, but hiding behind it under the rain is a bad idea. Toxic substance flooded from the surface would easily get on your skin. But the worst are the cute green fruits that resemble the cross between the garnet and the normal apple. Taste? Sweet, say plum jam. It is hard to say: then a poison will begin to act, which can kill you in painful hours.

Toxic properties of mancinella have been used by the Caribbean natives for centuries. The arrows and darts were soaked in the tree's lee, the prisoners were bound by the prisoners (which had been melting afterwards), using the leaves of the enemy's water sources. And, of course, the solid wood of the tree was used here and there for carpentry. There was a bit of a problem with felling, but if you leave the wood to dry in the sun to get rid of the sap, it can be said to work with it. But Europeans have robbed this wood everywhere they discovered it. In Florida, it has done well, and there are only a few recent specimens.

Even a poisonous tree will do a good job

The rest are mostly marked by a warning red cross or red bark on the bark (the nature reserves here are different in the country than in Bohemia). And the problem? Coasts and beaches across Central America and the Caribbean are now affected by unprecedented erosion, where the sea is biting increasingly large pieces from the exposed land. The role of the once plentiful mancinella in the ecosystem was simply irreplaceable, and the coasts without these stands are much more vulnerable to the negative effects of waves. Concrete dams and breakwaters can be dismantled, but only partially and very dearly.

In addition, thanks to its rarity, Mancinella has become more dangerous. Extreme rashes, drastic poisoning and temporary blindness have taught the first European colonists a tree species and its fruits can be safely recognized. And avoid her. Now that mancinella is practically forgotten, more and more people kill her last specimens each year, who have never come to contact with the legend of the Death Tree.

Author: Radomír Dohnal
Photo by Jason Hollinger / Flickr
License: Some rights reserved

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