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The World’s Most Dangerous Tree

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In the Caribbean, Florida, the Northern Coast of South America, the Bahamas, and Central America, the majestic fifty foot tall Manchineel tree has broken  the Guinness World Record for “world’s most dangerous tree.” The Manchineel tree is also known as the Poison Guava. The tree has a thick trunk and yellow-green leaves. Almost everything about it is dangerous and poisonous: the fruit that grows on it, including the sap, and the sawdust.

One deadly feature of the Poison Guava is the fruit that grows on it, called the Beach Apple. One single bite of the fruit would lead to hours of suffering and a “burning tearing sensation and tightness in the throat.” The Beach Apple could also result in pain, bleeding, vomiting, and digestive tract damage. The symptoms, however,  start to go away after about eight hours.

The thick, milky white sap that comes out its bark is equally dangerous. If it touches your skin, you would most likely get rashes, blisters, headaches and respiratory problems. Exposure to the eye can even cause ¨temporary painful blindness.¨  If it is raining, do not stand under the tree for shade! The raindrops carrying the sap could burn your skin.

The sawdust is also extremely poisonous. If you inhaled it, the sawdust would burn your skin, eyes, and lungs. However, the tree’s wood is very popular with carpenters,  because they have learned to take away the poisonous sap. In Central and South America, people use the bark to treat swelling caused by injury and use the dried fruit as a diuretic. Also, the fruits are usually edible to animals and they usually carry the seeds to help with reproduction.

The Manchineel (Poison Guava) tree is definitely the most dangerous tree in the world, but as you can see it can be used for some good things.

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