Exploding Hura - a cute pumpkin with spikes that hurts and kills (10 photos + 1 video)

Category: Animals, Nature, PEGI 0+
19 January 2024

In our understanding, the average tree is something majestic, motionless and useful. Or at least harmless. But there are also exceptions in nature that it is better not to approach unless necessary.

And if there is one, act very carefully.

These giants, at ease in the Amazon rainforest, can reach 60 meters in height and one and a half meters in girth. The giant's trunk is completely covered with thorns.

Surprisingly, the colossus is a close relative of the common milkweed. Hura exploding, known as dynamite wood, belongs to this family.

The main function of the sharp spines, the length of which can reach 8 centimeters, is to preserve the fruits from those who want to eat them. Khura fruits are cute and look like miniature pumpkins. As they ripen, they harden, darken, and then neatly separate into slices, accompanying the process with crackling sounds and scattering of seeds around.

Because of its resemblance to a real explosion, the tree received its second name, which very accurately reflects its essence and habits - dynamite.

Of course, such seeds will not cause injury like from a grenade explosion if they hit a living organism. But the seeds are even more insidious. They, like other parts of the tree, have the ability to produce pungent sap based on lectins. These substances have the ability of agglutination - gluing. During this process, the process of protein synthesis slows down and stops.

The sap of the dynamite tree causes an immediate severe burn. In case of contact with the mucous membrane of the eye, instant loss of vision is ensured. If you accidentally swallow a seed, pain, cramps and diarrhea begin, and if you are not lucky enough to eat two, then the person will have a seizure, accompanied by hallucinations, which will most likely end in death.

Fearless handsome macaw

The only creatures that can safely feast on evil seeds are macaws. And this is not an innate ability of brightly handsome people. Birds know special places on the coast where there is clay that neutralizes the effect of the toxin.

Inkwell and sandbox

Despite the great and dangerous power of dynamite wood, people have learned to use it for good. For a long time, sandboxes were made from green pumpkins: sand from them was used to sprinkle paper with text written in ink.

Solid wood canoe

Indian tribes soaked arrows with poison, with which they caught large fish. With their help they protected themselves from snakes. Locals hollow out canoes from the trunks, and they have learned to use the wood to make furniture and containers.

Dynamite tree sap is also used in microdoses in pharmaceuticals. Strong emetics and laxatives are made on its basis. Which can only be used for a short period of time due to high toxicity.

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