When you think about apples, you might have the supermarket type in mind, but there is a poisonous variety you had better stay away from.
You see, in the Bible, we have the story where Eve offered Adam forbidden fruit, and he accepted and they both partook of it. Of course, as the story goes, things didn’t work out so well for them (and for us) and they ended up being banished from the Garden of Eden.
In the American continent today, there is yet another kind of fruit that should be avoided, and it grows on a tree that is commonly found in Central and South America and you can even find them commonly growing in Florida.
According to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, this “death apple” comes from a tree called the manchineel, which is known as one of the most toxic trees on Earth. It even received the nod from the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s most dangerous tree.”
Christopher Columbus called this tree “manzanilla de la muerte”, which is “little apple of death” according to the NCBI. This is definitely a sign that we are no longer in the Garden of Eden, and forgive me for making a 90s pop culture reference here, but boy, can’t you just picture this fruit being in a Tales From the Crypt episode? I sure can.
The tree produces a toxic white sap, according to a local television station in Tampa, Florida. Apparently, this means that anyone that touches the leaves of the tree will risk severely irritating their skin to the point where it might even blister.
Even inhaling smoke from a burning manchineel will often restrict the airwaves of an unlucky soul that happens to breathe it in.
But wait, there are even more dangers.
The smoke from a burning manchineel will cause temporary blindness and the sap would do the same thing if it gets into your eyes.
Even standing under the tree during a rainstorm is ill-advised.
So just what happens if you eat one of the apples from a manchineel tree? Well, the taste of this fruit might be sweet, but once the poison kicks in you can look forward to intense inflammation of your digestive tract and the inability to swallow that won’t subside for at least eight hours.
The manchineel tree will usually have bark that is reddish-gray and leaves that are two to four inches long. This is a tree that certainly serves it purpose, but this is definitely one tree that you should only admire from afar.