We see trees in our everyday life, and short of going into it at full speed whilst driving a car or motorbike, we are pretty safe in the knowledge that it’s not going to get up and start to attack us – unless ‘The Day of the Triffids’ is real, that is.
But, there is one tree that you definitely want to stay clear of – very clear. Called the ‘Sandbox Tree’, (Hura Crepitans). These trees can be found around Central and South America, and whilst it may be easy for humans to stay well clear of them, it seems animals don’t have quite the same awareness. This causes great concern with the farmers near any of these trees, since many of their cattle have been injured by these explosive plants.
When the fruit becomes ripe, the tree can be described as a hand grenade, as the seeds shoot out at around 150 miles per hour, up to a distance of 40m. This means you really don’t want to be in its firing line, or you risk serious injury, and possibly worse.
Whilst it’s very dangerous, it’s also fairly easy to spot, as it grows to around 30m tall, and its easily identifiable by it’s spikes which protrude from the entire height of it. Whilst the spikes are sharp, they are totally harmless when in their neutral state, and have even been used for decoration.
The fruits that it grows are similar in shape to pumpkins, whilst a little smaller, and are in fact entirely edible. However, the seeds that the fruit contains aren’t too good to eat and can cause some nasty side effects include vomiting and diarrhoea.
If you’ve got past all of that danger, then you’ve also got the toxic sap which on contact with skin, will cause severe rashes, and is so dangerous that it is used to temporarily paralyse small animals and fish.
All in all, this tree definitely earns its place within the top 10 most dangerous plants!