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Monday, May 31, 2010
The Tree of Crime Bears Bitter Fruit
As the need for new sources of energy becomes ever more painfully obvious, enormous quantities of money are being invested in the development of bio-diesel fuels. While the sustainability of these fuels is questionable, that hasn't stopped scientists from analyzing countless different plants in search of viable sources of bio-diesel. One such member of the vegetable kingdom is the Pong-Pong Tree, known by the scientific name Cerbera Odollam. The Pong-Pong Tree makes its home in India and Southeast Asia, and produces green mango-sized pods. However: fruit fans take caution! The seeds that these pods carry contain a poison, cerberin, that causes a deadly disruption of the heart-beat. The poison seeds have been used for centuries by the inhabitants of India and Madascar for various sinister pursuits. The easy to conceal seeds, combined with the difficulty of detecting cerberin in autopsies, makes the Pong-Pong fruit ideal for murderers everywhere. People have also commonly used it to kill themselves, leading to the ghoulish nickname of "The Suicide Tree."