According to this fanciful message, which is making the rounds of the Internet via email, blogs and forums, the accompanying photographs depict an amazing tree in Thailand that grows fruit in human shape. The images show what appears to be small, perfectly formed figures of women “growing” from amid the leaves of the tree.
Many people apparently believe that the Nareepol Tree and its improbable fruit really exists and, although they have never seen it “in the flesh” (so to speak), some have even come to regard it as a sacred object. However, the Nareepol Tree is almost certainly nothing more than a hoax. If such an amazing phenomenon was real, the tree would undoubtedly be quite famous and there would be many media reports published about it all around the world. The scientific community and religious groups would also have examined the tree and published their findings. Instead, the only information about the alleged Nareepol Tree is in versions of the above message.
Moreover, the three photographs above appear to be the only images of the tree available. Given the self-publishing power provided by the Internet, if the tree was real, there would surely be myriad photographs of the tree available on many different blogs, travel websites and photo sharing websites.
According to the message, the Nareepol Tree is located in the Petchaboon province. So, if the tree and its fruit really existed, it would likely be a major tourist attraction for the region and promoted as such. However, the tree is not listed as an attraction on any credible travel related websites for the Petchaboon province.
Thus, it seems very probable that some unknown prankster has created the hoax by cleverly attaching a few man-made figurines to an ordinary tree’s branches and then taking some photographs to document his “creation”. The junction where each “fruit” joins the branch is conveniently obscured by leaves, perhaps to hide the wire or twine that holds it aloft. And, the figures look too uniform to be natural. Except for the positioning of the arms, each piece of “fruit” is virtually identical in size and colour. Real fruit is likely to vary considerably in size, hue and quality, even when growing on the same tree.
The description of the Nareepol Tree and the photographs of its “fruit” are amusing and the message is basically harmless so long as recipients do not take its claims seriously.
Last updated: 1st April 2008
First published: 1st April 2008
Write-up by Brett M. Christensen