The “Darkside” of St. John and the Caribbean~ The Manchineel Tree
Life isn’t always paradise on any tropical island. There are a lot of things to be cautious about. If you aren’t staying in the National Park or vicinity such as the East End of St. John, there are a few things to look out for.
One of those things would be the Manchineel Tree or “death apple”. Most trees are designated with a sign to not touch within the limits of the park. However, on one of the beaches on the East End of St. John we saw these badass boys and man oh man can they be scary (there was also no sign to this bad boy and I stupidly was under it).
The story goes like this. On Christopher Columbus’ 2nd voyage his crew came ashore to discover these guys. A bunch of them ate the fruit from this tree thinking,” Oh it’s paradise and a fruit, let’s eat up!” Well, ate up they did and croaked within the following day.
If you just touch it’s bark, it can be dangerous. However, ingested is what can really kill ya. They also say that if you stand under the tree when it rains it could potentially be fatal.
The only known antidote is arrowroot. However, who has arrowroot hanging around on them?
Be wary folks if venturing outside the park limits. Don’t touch any trees or wildlife as I ALWAYS say to be safe.