The Mystery of Java’s “Devil Tree”

  Java Island is the fifth largest island in Indonesia, where there is abundant rainfall, hot climate, excellent natural conditions, and lush jungles are scattered everywhere. On Mount Bromo in the eastern part of the island, there is a lake of death that locals talk about. It is said that there is a huge threat hidden near the lake, and many people died because of it! In the summer of 2019, Canadian scholar Hans came to Java Island with his assistant Hassan after hearing about this anecdote, trying to figure out the mystery! After they entered the Bromo volcano area, what terrible things happened?
  In -depth exploration of the hinterland of Java Island
   Hans is a professor at Victoria University in Vancouver, Canada. He usually likes to explore mysterious phenomena in nature. Whenever he has spare time, he will take his assistant Hassan to explore the mystery. On July 15, 2019, Hans and Hassan went to the beautiful Southeast Asia region, because they learned that there is a life forbidden area called “Death Lake” on Mount Bromo in Java Island, Indonesia, and they chose the expedition site in out there.
   The eastern part of Java Island is sparsely populated, the virgin jungle is particularly dense, and many areas are undeveloped. On the edge of the jungle, there are still some indigenous people living. Hassan had learned some indigenous languages ​​of Southeast Asia and was able to help Hans as a translator, so they reached the area where the indigenous people lived smoothly along the way.
   A week later, Hans and Hassan arrived at the outskirts of Mount Bromo. They came to a village called the Sbar tribe, where they were warmly received by the village chief.
   During the conversation, the village chief heard that the purpose of Hans and Hassan’s trip was to explore the hinterland of the volcanic jungle, and the smiling face instantly became uneasy: “Guests from far away, you’d better not set foot there. There, once there is a bloody disaster, it’s really not a good thing!” Hans and Hassan said confidently: “We are well prepared, it’s fine! We just want to explore!” The
   village chief sighed helplessly. He sighed: “You are all foreigners, how do you know it’s terrible there!” In order to let Hans and Hassan retreat, the village chief talked about the terrible lake of death. It turns out that Dead Lake is a place rich in resources, where hunters often fish, and every time they go there, they always get a full harvest!
   But I don’t know since when, the hunters in the village went into the jungle to hunt, but they always disappeared, and the villagers knew that the lake was their only place to go. As long as you pass through the lake, you will never come back, only a pile of bones!
   At first, the villagers thought it was the hunters who encountered the beast, but when they saw the bones, they felt very terrified and surprised. Later, the villagers who went to look for the missing hunter did not return, and gradually, everyone became more and more terrified.
   Now almost no one dares to set foot in that area, so that the vegetation around the lake of death grows more and more lush, becoming wild and terrifying, and there are people from outsiders who are not afraid of the rumors, rush forward, and they disappear as a result. Therefore, the rumors about it are becoming more and more mysterious.
   Hans and his assistant Hassan listened to the village chief’s introduction and did not show fear. They have traveled all over the world and have been to many magical places in the world, so they are not afraid of all kinds of strange phenomena in nature. They believe that because the indigenous people lack scientific knowledge, they will make up some rumors.
   The more the village chief said this, the more interested Professor Hans became in the Lake of Death! He was determined to go deep into the jungle’s hinterland in the volcanic area, thereby uncovering its mystery.
   Although the village chief objected to them moving forward, but seeing that Professor Hans had no hesitation, for safety reasons, he selected a young hunter named Dom as a guide for them, in order to prevent Hans and Hassan from getting lost in the virgin forest.
   Dom used to follow the hunters in the tribe to hunt in the jungles of the Bromo volcano area many times, and he is familiar with the terrain in the forest. However, since the frequent occurrence of Death Lake incidents, Dom has rarely entered the hinterland. This time, he was willing to lead Professor Hans there. So under his guidance, Hans and Hassan soon entered the depths of the jungle.
   The jungle was littered with thorns and vines crawled up the tall tree trunks. The three of them walked along the open space as much as possible to avoid the poisonous snakes in the grass during the day, and built sleeping bags on the trees at night to prevent wild beasts from attacking.
  Fortunately, they have sufficient food and drinking water, so they have always maintained strong physical strength. Along the way, in order to eliminate loneliness, Hans and Hassan took turns telling interesting stories, while the guide Dom warned them that in this huge jungle in front of them, the mysterious things are not only the rumored death lake, but also some strange things. Strange plants can also threaten human life.
  The most dangerous jungle adventure
   After two days of difficult trekking, they finally came to the central area of ​​the jungle hinterland. At noon on the third day, when they were passing through a savage forest, Dom suddenly stopped, pointed his finger forward, and said nervously: “Look, did you see that strange tree? It is said that it is a kind of The ecstasy tree, as long as you get close to it, people will faint, so don’t…”
   Following the direction of Dom’s finger, Hans saw a strange tree, although it was not tall, but with lush foliage , which completely covered the Panqiu Wolong-like trunk and the fruit between the branches and leaves.
   Is it true that Dom says this tree can confuse people? Hans first took pictures and compared the information he brought, but there was no ready-made information on what kind of peculiar tree it was.
   Hans was eager to find out, and he took precautions just in case. He instructed his assistant, Hassan, to stand aside with a shotgun, while he tied a long rope around him, the other end of which was in Dom’s hand. Hans, who is experienced in adventure, did this to let Dom meet him in the middle. If something goes wrong, Dom can rescue himself by pulling on the rope.
   After everything was ready, Hans slowly approached the tree step by step. Dom shouted from a distance: “Don’t come any closer! Don’t come any closer! Beware of danger, you just stop!” But Hans didn’t feel anything unusual, so he took a few steps forward. Unexpectedly, Hans smelled a strange fragrance when he was only two or three meters away from the tree.
   Hans just wanted to tell which fragrance it was, but what he didn’t expect was that under the stimulation of this special smell, Hans’ nostrils and mouth felt itchy, and he reached out to touch his nose. Unexpectedly, under the stimulation of touch, his nose itch even more! And the scent turned into an unbearable stench.
   After he sneezed a few times uncontrollably, he suddenly felt a severe pain in his entire head, and his eyes were dizzy, and his whole body was dizzy, and then the world was spinning, as if there was an uncontrollable force! Before Hans could react, he lost consciousness and collapsed to the ground.
   When Hans opened his eyes and woke up, he found himself far away from the peculiar tree, and it turned out that Dom had dragged him back in time. Hans, who gradually regained consciousness, was breathing heavily. He heard the assistant calling him constantly, and he was gradually able to speak. Hans asked Dom inexplicably: “What kind of tree is this, and why does it emit a dizzying smell? And I feel like I’m about to collapse, very uncomfortable!”
   Dom repeatedly shook his head and said: “I I don’t understand it, but when the hunters in the tribe see this tree in the jungle, they will remind each other not to approach it, otherwise they will faint like you just now, and some people will be in a coma for several days, which is very scary. ”

   Hans guessed it was a tree that gave off noxious fumes. In order to continue to find out the species of the tree, he tightly covered his mouth and nose with a wet towel, and sure enough, when he approached the tree within two or three meters again, he did not experience a coma due to severe dizziness.
   They continued on, led by Dom, Hans and Hassan reached the vicinity of Lake of Death. They climbed to the heights, and through the jungle gap, they could see a deep green natural pool, and the water surface was sparkling golden under the sunlight.
   When I came to the lake, I saw a pool of unfathomable blue water, beautiful lakes and mountains, and beautiful scenery. While they were intoxicated by the magical scenery created by nature, a shrill howl of a beast suddenly came from not far from the lake. Hans motioned for a few people to prepare self-defense weapons and follow the sound to outflank the past.
   When they opened the bushes to observe carefully, they saw an astonishing scene: by the lake of death, a strange and terrifying tree was dancing with its elastic branches, tightly entangling a wild boar.
   The drooping branches swung violently like greedy snakes, wrapping the wild boar in circles one by one. The wild boar, who refused to let it go, howled with its mouth wide open, and broke some branches in the desperate struggle.
   Maybe the wild boar was too heavy. After it struggled for a few minutes, some branches suddenly loosened, and the wild boar fell heavily to the ground. The frightened wild boar, panting heavily, plunged into the jungle and fled.
   “God, this tree is so scary! I’ve only heard that this lake can kill people before, but I haven’t heard that there is a tree that can kill people! Could it be that the real man-eating demon is this tree? Because legends You can see the skeleton by the lake of death!” When the guide Dom saw this scene, his face changed suddenly, his eyes widened, and his breathing became rapid!
   A tree that can eat people? Hans tensed up! Dom said that although no one had seen how the villagers who disappeared here before died, he had heard from hunters that he had seen flesh and blood turn into skeletons near the lake of death!
   Hans couldn’t help thinking! The terrifying and legendary plant of the man-eating tree has long been heard. An article by German explorer Karl was published in an expedition magazine in England. In the article he described that he came across a strange tree at the bend of a gently flowing stream.
   The tree is about 3 meters high and has eight long, tequila-like leaves with barbed spines and many twisting green hairs on the top of the tree. The natives by the tree sang and forced a wrongful sinner to climb the trunk.
   Then, the originally lazy cannibal tree suddenly regained its savage vitality, and those branches suddenly became manic. Those slender tendrils, like the wrath of a hungry snake, hovered over the sinner’s head for a while, and then suddenly curled up around his neck and arms, immobilizing him.
   Then, the big leaves of the tree stood up and approached each other, devouring the poor sinner, and for the next full hour, blood dripped from the leaves of the brutal plant, and when the leaves opened again, The sinner was left with only a pair of bones…
  In fact, the world has been questioning the authenticity of this news. Because as early as 1875, the great biologist Darwin studied carnivorous plants and wrote a book “Carnivorous Plants”, which recorded that most common carnivorous plants grow in nutrient-poor rock crevices, swamps or shallow waters , eating meat is their last resort. At present, there are more than 600 kinds of carnivorous plants found in 13 families and 20 genera in the world, most of which belong to Nepenthes, Sundew and Uricaria. Several carnivorous plants discovered now are extremely small, and the most powerful Nepenthes raja has only preyed on small rodents.
  The truth of the devil tree is finally revealed. Whether this is a man-eating tree in
   front of us is still uncertain. Professor Hans stopped Dom and tried to comfort him: “Don’t be afraid, the big tree in front of you is a kind of plant, and it doesn’t have legs, can it still catch up! However, in this situation, it is indeed a bit dangerous!”
   As Hans spoke, he took out the picture materials from the backpack he carried with him for comparison. Assistant Hassan also came over to look at it together. After a while, their eyes fell on the same picture, and they almost invariably called out, “Dianbo!”
   But Hassan recalled the situation where the wild boar finally escaped, and became a little puzzled: “Since Dienbo is a man-eating tree unique to Java Island, but it finally released the wild boar, what happened?”
   Hans Pointing to the picture material in his hand, he explained: “Adult cypress trees can be up to eight or nine meters high, with many long branches that can always hang down to the ground. If someone or an animal accidentally touches them, all the trees on the tree will be destroyed. The branches will stretch in the same direction like magic claws, wrapping the prey tightly. When the prey is exhausted and unable to move, the branches can slowly secrete a sticky glue that digests the captured prey. When the branches of Dianbai have absorbed the nutrients, they will start fluttering, and they will set up a net again, ready to capture the next victim.”
   Hans said: “Look carefully, the Dianbai tree in front of you is no more than 3 meters high and has not yet reached adulthood. Therefore, it is still difficult to catch animals as big as wild boars. Besides, the wild boars also broke some branches on its body. In this case, the hunting is not worth the gain, so Dianbaishu can only stop and let go of the wild boars in the middle. If it is a weak animal If you are rolled up, you will not be so lucky.”
   “Look! What is that?” The sharp-eyed Dom pointed forward and shouted again in surprise. Hans and Hassan watched closely, and sure enough, they saw another tree with a terrifying appearance. Its thick black tree tip points to the sky, and countless thick or thin branches hang down from it. What is even more terrifying is that under the tree, some withered animal bones are actually seen. Glowing white!
   Hans’s eyes widened: “This cypress tree is hidden so deeply!” However, just when Hans and the other three tried to approach, and planned to cut off some branches for research specimens, a terrifying scene happened!
   A wild goat got out of nowhere. It was thirsty, maybe it was going to the lake to drink water. Unfortunately, it happened to pass under this cypress tree. The long branches hanging down suddenly danced, quickly entangling the body of the wild goat. The wild goat screamed and struggled desperately, but the branches around it became tighter and tighter, like a terrifying poisonous snake entangling its prey, and would not let go.
   Hans and Hassan had only learned about the fact that the cypress tree would eat flesh and blood from the data, but this time, in order to see the terrifying fact with their own eyes, they held their breath and observed it quietly. After about 10 minutes, the ibex was motionless and apparently suffocated to death. The branches wrapped around it wrapped tightly around the muscles and greedily sucked the nutrients from the goat carcass.
   The fact that Hans et al. have seen with their own eyes is that the cypress simply sucks the fresh blood from the prey. Because when the tightly wound branches were loosened, although the whole goat corpse became shriveled, the body was still intact. Just when Hans was about to continue to observe closely, a new situation suddenly happened! Just on the high slope not far from them, there was a black mass swept over.
   “It’s an ant colony, get away quickly, or you’ll be in trouble if you’re surrounded by them!” Hans shouted to Hassan and Dom. After the three people moved to a safe area, they saw that a large black guy had come under the Diencypress tree, and was covered with the bodies of wild goats in an instant.
   The mystery veiled on the lake of death was finally revealed by this expedition by Hans and others. After a long time of trouble, it turned out that it was the cooperation of the terrifying cypress tree and these savage ants that killed every fresh life.
   Even so, Hans warned Dom and asked the tribesmen to protect these cypress trees by the lake, after all, they are rare and endangered tree species. Although they can suck the blood of people or animals, they belong to the cruel survival law of nature and should be respected.