Monkey-Trap Tree

From Kook Science

Monkey-Trap Tree (from the Portuguese: Pega Macaco) is a cryptobotanical carnivorous plant that was reported to exist in the jungles of north-eastern Brazil in the regions bordering the Guianas, the claims credited to Mariano da Silva, or Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, the famed Brazilian military engineer and explorer.

The Report

  • Prior, Sophia (1939), "'Monkey-Trap Tree'", Carnivorous Plants and 'The Man-Eating Tree', Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Botany, p. 10, 

    A recent report is credited to a Brazilian explorer named Mariano da Silva who returned from an expedition which led him into a district of Brazil that borders on Guiana. He had there sought out the settlement of Yatapu Indians. During his journey he saw a tree which nourishes itself on animals. The trunk of the tree has a diameter of about 90 centimetres and is about six to seven meters high. Around the lower part are found leaves which are 0.9 by 20 centimetres large and the thickness of the thumb. The tree itself exudes a peculiar sharp odor which attracts animals, especially monkeys. As soon as they climb the trunk, all is up with them, for very quickly they are completely closed in by the leaves, and one neither hears nor sees them again. After about three days the leaves open and let drop to the earth the bones, completely stripped.