September 22, 2023

There was a study in 1984 that has been incorrectly used to claim that falling coconuts kill more people worldwide than sharks. The study was titled “Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts“.

“Falling coconuts kill 150 people worldwide each year, 15 times the number of fatalities attributable to sharks.” George Burgess, Director of the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File and a noted shark researcher.

It’s true that people can be injured, and in very rare cases killed, by falling coconuts. That though doesn’t make coconuts; “the killer fruit”. [This moniker was given to them by Beverly Beckham from the Boston Herald in April 2002].

Bangkok Unmasked recently came across a video that highlights another more serious danger of coconut trees. Their falling over.

Last weekend a two-year-old boy, Tong Gosungnern, came within inches of being crushed to death by a falling coconut tree. Tong had been playing with friends on the road outside his parents’ home in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Falling coconuts and falling coconut trees; hazards in paradise!

CCTV footage captured the terrifying moment a 30ft high old coconut tree came loose at base, and toppled over. Incredibly, the tree just barely missed Tong’s head as he stood transfixed watching it fall.

From examining at the footage, it seems that the front of the pick up truck absorbed most of the coconut tree’s fall. Had the pickup truck not been there, Tong might not have walked away from the incident. According to reports, Tong’s mother said;

This was an old palm tree, so big. Nobody knew it would fall down. The moment I looked over and saw Tong with the tree coming down towards him, my heart stopped.

A chilling video capturing the incident is below.

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