Solving the Mysterious Animal Deaths in the Amazon Jungle – The Explosive Secret of the Rare “Bomb Tree”

   In August 2019, a horrific thing happened in a jungle in northern South America. Local people found strangely dead birds and small beasts in the woods, all of which had fatal trauma. Similar things happen again and again, so people can’t help but feel scared, what killed these animals?
  After hearing about this strange incident, Professor Alves of the University of Chile decided to go to the area where bird and animal deaths occur frequently to investigate and find out the truth. They studied every corner of this woodland, and finally made a major discovery. It is unbelievable that these birds and beasts were killed by a plant called “bomb tree”! Bombs made by humans play a huge role in military operations, but how can the fruit on the tree explode, and what is the mystery of this “natural minefield”?
  Chilling, small animals died strangely.
   In August 1985, Joyce was born in Iquitos in the Amazon River Basin in South America. Although it has a tropical rainforest climate, but because it is along the banks of the Amazon River, the entire small city is located on the edge of the Amazon River. With the breeze blowing, it doesn’t feel hot.
   At dusk, Joyce often took his father Abel’s hand and walked along the quiet river bank.
   There is a small island not far from Iquitos, which is densely covered with jungle and lush green trees. Although this is an open island, no one lives on it, and the nearby residents rarely set foot there, so it still maintains the wildness of a virgin forest.
   Joyce, who likes to explore, pesters his father, Abel, to visit the island every few years to fully experience the charm of nature. He liked everything in the forest, the strange wild flowers, the little beetles he had never seen before. As long as he raises his eyes and lowers his head, Joyce can always find the scenery that surprises him!
   Sometimes, when Joyce was walking by the river, the naughty monkey would jump out and do some funny moves, which made Joyce laugh out loud, and at that time, a flock of birds would always fly overhead . Wandering in such a primeval forest, Joyce was extremely happy! He felt like he was about to become the prince of the jungle!
   Joyce liked the peace of this island, which was the warmest memory of his childhood. After graduating from high school with excellent grades, Joyce studied at the Department of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. With continuous exploration and practice, he became more and more aware that the tropical rainforest in his hometown, rivers, birds and animals are the source of harmony. Like my own youth, always full of vitality.
   However, this tranquility was suddenly broken by a terrible thing.
   In the summer of 2019, after completing a project at the scientific research institute, Joyce returned to his hometown after a long absence for a long vacation. The August sun shines on the island, and the gentle wind is like Joyce’s mood. Revisiting the old place is like meeting old friends.
   The running water is still so clear, the jungle is still so lush, wandering on the bank of the familiar river, Joyce was immersed in nostalgia for the past, but there was a shocking scene in front of him: three “musk pheasant” birds lying on the ground In a pool of blood, he had already lost consciousness.
   Joyce was startled. This is a forest protection zone, and people are not allowed to harm animals. Who did it? But after thinking about it, if someone deliberately hurt them, they should take the prey away instead of leaving them in the wilderness.
   Joyce leaned closer to the musk pheasant to have a look, and saw that the stomach of one musk pheasant seemed to be bitten by something, and even the internal organs were exposed, and the other musk pheasant had a hole in its stomach, as if it had been bitten by something. It was pierced by something sharp, and the death of the remaining musk pheasant was even more peculiar. No obvious scars were seen on the whole body, as if it died of suffocation.
   A terrifying breath of death filled the air, and Joyce couldn’t help but tremble. He was very familiar with the musk pheasant. They were about 60 centimeters long and had feathers on their heads. They were very beautiful, a bit like the legendary phoenix. , and the most surprising thing is that they are called “Amazon stinkbirds” because their bodies emit a musty smell. stay away.
   Because of this, they have always had their own exclusive territory, living in the jungle on the other side of the river, but this time they died here strangely for some unknown reason.
   Back home, Joyce told his father about the incident, and Abel was also very surprised, because the musk pheasant had injuries, so it was impossible for him to die of starvation, and if he was killed by a wild animal, the corpse of the musk pheasant should have been killed. It is right to be picked up and eaten, not to stay still.
   The next day, Joyce went to the island to find out, but the island temporarily restored its former tranquility, and he found nothing. How did these musk pheasants die? Was it all just an accident? A few days later, Joyce went to the island again, and this time he found many inexplicable dead animals.
   At that time, Joyce was stunned by the tragedy in front of him. Besides the musk pheasant, there were other birds and small beasts lying on the ground. These small animals originally liked to live on the opposite bank, but now they were lying on the ground bloody and bloody. What happened?
   It was warm and peaceful here, but now such horrible things happened one after another. Later, even the police were dispatched. They suspected that someone was poaching and wanted to arrest people, but no gunshots were heard before and after the death of the animal, and if it was poaching , why don’t these people take the dead animals?
   The tranquility of the island was completely broken. Some people said it was man-made injury, but there was no evidence; some people said it was animals killing each other, but there was no basis; What is even more worrying is that some people saw many flying birds on the small island, like the musk pheasant, which had never appeared before.
  Everything is shrouded in a strange. Until, a sharp-billed bird appeared.
  Birth and death, only the sharp-billed bird is safe and sound.
   The sharp-billed bird is a creature that has lived on the island for a long time. It has a long front part of its mouth, many teeth, and particularly strong forelimbs. It is a small and medium-sized tree-dwelling bird. . This bird has a long, thin, pointed beak and feeds on worms in tree hollows. Because its beak is constantly growing, the sharp-billed bird must find a hard tree trunk to grind its beak every day to maintain a certain length and sharpness.
   That afternoon, Joyce came to the island again. When he looked up, he suddenly saw a sharp-billed bird standing on a tree pecking at insects. A flash in his mind, the animals that had died recently were one after another, but I have never seen a sharp-billed bird injured, why is that?
   While wondering, several people came across. It turned out to be Professor Alves from the Environmental Department of the University of Chile. After he heard about this strange incident, he and several assistants came here to investigate the truth in order to find out the truth.
   Joyce also wanted to solve the mystery in his heart as soon as possible. Seeing that scientists were involved, he told Professor Alves the details he knew. Alves thought for a while and said, “Are you sure that the sharp-billed birds have always lived here before, and rarely saw those injured animals?”
   Joyce nodded: “These injured animals used to live in other places. A jungle, that jungle is 15 kilometers away from the other side of the river, and I lived there for a while before. Because in comparison, the resources there are more abundant!”

   Then why did they come here, and why did they die strangely here? Generally speaking, if some animals are not for migration, they will only change their living habits as the environment changes. Thinking of this, Professor Alves seemed to understand something. He decided to go to the opposite jungle to find out. Joyce followed him.
   However, when they arrived at that area, they were suddenly dumbfounded. It turned out that the jungle no longer existed, and with the roar of excavators, some high-rise buildings were rising.
   Professor Alves suddenly understood that the living environment of those animals was threatened and they had to migrate to the small island on the other side. What is puzzling is that animals have their own rules of survival. Even in a new place, they will not die so tragically. What is against them?
   Back on the island, Professor Alves and his assistants began to dissect the animal corpses one by one. Since the cause of death could not be found for a while, it is better to seek a breakthrough in science and technology.
   Sure enough, Professor Alves soon made a major discovery. On the corpses of these animals, every wound contained the same substance—hydrocarbons, which can be refined to make cars. Fuel, their death must be related to this substance.
   However, what is puzzling is that hydrocarbons mainly come from oil, coal and natural gas. How did it get into animal wounds?
   The next day, Joyce approached Professor Alves to inquire about the progress of the research. Seeing Joyce’s anxious look, Professor Alves thought of the sharp-billed bird. Since the sharp-billed bird was never injured, it must have its own uniqueness.
   Therefore, Professor Alves also dissected more than ten sharp-billed birds, but he never expected that hydrocarbons were also found in the sharp-billed birds. If it is said that the deaths of those animals were caused by hydrocarbons Why is the sharp-billed bird safe and sound, and where did the hydrocarbons in its body come from?
   Faced with all kinds of doubts, everything seemed to be deadlocked again. Professor Alves was not reconciled, and started a more in-depth research. That day, when he entered the island with his assistant, he suddenly heard a deafening explosion not far away, as if someone had thrown a grenade.
   He was taken aback, and after everything subsided, he hurried to check, only to find some bloody bird corpses under several trees. Did someone kill the birds with a bomb? But there was silence all around, and there was no one. Is there an ambush? But after half an hour, there was still no movement, and there was no sign of other people coming.
   Professor Alves was wondering, when he heard a loud “bang” sound again, and saw a pumpkin-sized fruit suddenly exploded on a fruit tree not far from them, and hard fragments flew around like a torrential rain The shot hit the surrounding trees and the ground, leaving obvious cutting marks.
  Everyone was dumbfounded. This crackling sound was exactly the same as the explosion sound heard just now. Professor Alves thought that the culprit who killed the animals was probably the fruit on this fruit tree. But why do the fruits of plants explode?
  Thrilling, the explosion is only for re-sowing.
   After careful investigation and research by Professor Alves, the truth finally surfaced slowly.
   It turns out that this kind of tree is called “bomb tree”, which is very strong, and some trunks can reach a circumference of 1 meter. Its fruit is as big as a grapefruit and is very hard. When the peel shell is golden yellow, it indicates that the fruit is ripe.
   At this time, it will suddenly explode at a certain time, and the shell fragments can fly more than 20 meters away. Like a small grenade, it is extremely lethal. Those small animals who have just arrived here have just migrated here and do not know its power. So it became a victim.
   Surprisingly, the sap secreted by the bomb tree can be directly used as fuel. People only need to cut a small hole in the trunk to collect a certain amount of sap, and the wound on the trunk will heal automatically in a few days. And in this juice, it contains a large amount of hydrocarbons, which can be refined to make fuel for automobiles.
   According to Professor Alves’ analysis, the reason why this kind of fruit will explode is because the mature fruit becomes harder and harder, and the juice in the fruit contains a lot of hydrocarbon compounds, and gradually reaches saturation. Once it reaches a certain level, it will explode. It bursts naturally, often with a sudden sound, and the melon rind flies around. The broken melon rind can fly 20 meters away, and its power is no less than a grenade.
   Many birds like to build their nests on the bomb tree. Generally, there is no problem in perching on the tree, but you must be careful when the fruit of the bomb tree is ripe. If you are not careful, you will often be burned by it.
   Interestingly, the sharp-billed birds that grow here are not very afraid of this “bomb fruit”. The beak of the sharp-billed bird is constantly growing, and it must find a hard tree to sharpen its beak every day, and the fruit of the bomb tree is very hard, so it naturally becomes their target.
   Due to long-term contact, the sharp-billed birds have already figured out the habits of the bomb tree. Whenever the fruit begins to ripen, they will stay away from it to prevent the “bomb fruit” from exploding suddenly and hurting themselves. Therefore, when the fruit of a bomb tree explodes, no injured jays can be seen around the tree’s perimeter.
   In order to verify this result, Professor Alves set up multiple cameras on a bomb tree, and finally captured clear and precious pictures. The picture shows that after the fruit of the bomb tree turns yellow, the clever sharp-billed bird no longer approaches it, but looks for other hard objects to sharpen its beak.
   However, in the following observations, Professor Alves discovered a strange phenomenon. In the area near the fruit explosion, the injured sharp-billed bird was indeed not seen, but when looking for it in a farther area, occasionally We found a mutilated sharp-billed bird. Judging from the extent of its injuries, it must have been in the closest place to the fruit when the fruit exploded. So, they knew that the bomb tree would explode, so why were they injured?
   Professor Alves added several remote cameras to the bomb tree to expand the shooting range, and finally captured the cause of the sharp-billed bird’s injury with a clear picture.
   The picture shows that after the fruit of the bomb tree turns yellow, most of the sharp-billed birds will indeed not approach it again, but there are always some sporadic sharp-billed birds who take the risk and try to sharpen their beaks a few times. Seeing that the fruit does not respond, they are courageous It is getting bigger and bigger, but it does not know that it will accelerate the speed of the fruit explosion, and eventually lose its life.
   The sharp-billed bird had already mastered the law of the explosion of the bomb tree fruit, but finally died due to luck. Sometimes, both humans and animals need an adventurous spirit, but we must not take risks with a fluke mentality.
   So far, Professor Alves finally found the murderer who killed the birds and beasts in the forest. However, through in-depth research on the growth process of this tree, he came to a conclusion that makes people laugh. It turns out that there is a deeper reason why the bomb tree explodes. Its principle of throwing “bombs” is the same as that of dandelions spreading “little paratroopers” with the wind, in order to spread seeds.
   However, it is difficult for those who have seen the explosive power of the bomb tree to connect the powerful bomb tree with the weak dandelion.

   A dandelion is like a fluffy hydrangea. When the wind blows, the “little paratroopers” will be scattered far away with the wind; but the bomb tree is always fierce, and often throws a bomb without warning A “bomb” creates a scene like a grenade explosion, which hurts people very much. Although the two are irrelevant, the principle of spreading seeds is the same.
   The bomb tree is a tall tree with a hard fruit shell, similar to a coconut. The seeds of the tree are hidden in this hard shell, so it cannot be spread by the excrement containing the seeds after being eaten by animals.
   Therefore, they can only use a drastic method of seed dispersal – explosion. When the fruit is ripe, the bursting power is gathered through the cell changes of the fruit shell, and when the time comes, it will split and sow.
   Through the violent explosion of the fruit, the seeds of the bomb tree are quickly launched to the surroundings. If they can fall on the suitable soil, they will take root and germinate, and a new bomb tree will grow. The greater the power of the explosion, the more the seeds will fly. Far.
   In fact, “bomb tree” is native to northern Africa. It is a small evergreen tree of Bignoniaceae and Cucurbitaceae. It is a typical tropical rainforest “old stem flowering” plant. The diameter of the largest fruit is only more than 20 centimeters.
   The bomb tree is so powerful that many people keep it at a respectful distance. Is it impossible to pollinate it? No, bomb trees are very small. They chose bats because the taste and smell of their nectar are very popular with bats. Bats are usually active at night, the temperature is low, and the bats move lightly. The bomb tree will not explode and hurt the bats.
   So, if bomb trees are so dangerous, why aren’t they eradicated? Because the bomb tree knows the trade-offs, the hydrocarbons in its sap can be used as car fuel and create value for people. Today, when oil resources are dwindling, the bomb tree is actually a useful tree species, so people should use it rationally under the premise of following the laws of nature to create more value for human beings.
   Not only that, but the bomb tree has also become an ornamental tree. Even Chinese residents, if they are curious about “bomb trees”, don’t need to go to Africa or South America to explore, because some scenic spots in Hainan, Guangxi and Yunnan have already introduced bomb trees.
   However, it is not easy to artificially cultivate a bomb tree. The bomb tree was watered when it was planted, and it would take half a month for the root soil to dry before watering again. Do not water too much at one time, otherwise its The roots are prone to rot.
   Experienced gardeners can judge whether the amount of watering is too much by its state. If it is watered too much at one time, its leaves will curl up the next day, and once the bomb tree lacks water, the leaves will turn yellow.
   The bomb tree likes a humid environment, especially likes to take root in moist soil, so it needs to be helped to loosen the soil at the roots frequently to maintain sufficient nutrients. Only when it is rich in nutrients will it become luxuriant and full of vitality.
   The bomb tree can not only produce beautiful flowers, but also when it bears fruit, the tree is full of round fruits, which is of high ornamental value and is a beautiful scenery. Of course, although this kind of fruit is green and bright, it makes people salivate, and even want to reach out to pick it off, break open the shell, put the pulp in your mouth, and taste the taste. However, this “big green watermelon” is only good-looking. Its pulp is sticky and has a peculiar smell, which is not delicious.
   In the final analysis, although the bomb tree is a bit dangerous, as long as it is properly handled during the fruit ripening period, unnecessary damage will be reduced and peaceful coexistence will be achieved.
   To be strong is not to conquer everything, kill everything, or even leave nothing behind, but to make selective choices, win-win cooperation, protect oneself from harm, and survive for a long time.
   Every plant is worthy of respect, because they survive and have their own unique place.

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