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30 January 2014

Manchineel - World's Most Dangerous Tree

Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) is a dangerously poisonous tree reaching up to 15 meters in height with alternate shiny green leaves and spikes of small green flowers. The fruit is greenish to yellow-green at ripeness. In less than an hour, severe dermatitis takes effect. This poisonous tree can be found in the Southern parts of Florida as well as many parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and Northern South America.

The manchineel’s milky white sap is incredibly caustic and poisonous as well – even a drop could cause skin blisters, dermatitis, swelling or burns. This happens a lot with unsuspecting travelers who use the tree for shelter from the rains. The sap is so caustic that even the rain drops coming from the branches can cause burns. The bark is poisonous too – burning it releases a smoke that causes temporary (and in some cases, permanent) blindness. Considering all the ways it can hurt you, it’s no wonder the manchineel currently holds the Guinness record for world’s most dangerous tree.







[Sources 1 2]

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