There are over 2,000 species of fruits discovered till date. However, many are inedible, and some are downright lethal if consumed. Even parts of fruits that are seemingly safe may become poisonous if consumed in large quantities. This list explores some of the most dangerous fruits to avoid.
Of the many types of fruits, apples are the most popular. However, the seeds of this fruit contain a compound called amygdalin. This compound is harmless on its own, but when the seeds are crushed or chewed on, amygdalin breaks down into hydrogen cyanide. This compound is very toxic to cells and can cause death if ingested in large quantities. An 80kg adult will have to consume between 240-300 seeds to die of cyanide poisoning. For reference, a whole apple may contain anywhere between 0 to 18 seeds. Moreover, swallowing the seeds whole is unlikely to cause any harm as the seed coat protects it from the body’s digestive enzymes.
Strychnine Plant Fruit
The strychnine plant produces a very toxic poison called Strychnine. The poison is derived primarily from the seeds of the fruit. However, even the leaves and the bark of the plant is known to be very poisonous. There are reports of entire herds of cattle getting decimated because of the plant. Alarmingly, this compound is one of the critical components of many “street drugs” such as LSD and Heroin. As a result, it has the potential to cause many ill effects such as nausea, hallucination and even death. This chemical works by interfering with the nerve signals, which can eventually cause the person’s lungs to stop working.
The manchineel or the beach apple is a fruit that is native to the Carribean Islands. It is unassuming and looks deceptively delicious. However, the manchineel fruit is a very dangerous fruit that can cause death within hours, if consumed. Moreover, even touching the tree causes dermatitis. If a person were to stand under its foliage when it is raining, the water dripping down its leaves could cause instantaneous painful blisters on contact with skin. Even the smoke from a burning manchineel tree can cause irritation and even blindness in extreme cases.
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