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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Coconut

In Java and Nicobar the traveler Marco Polo became the first European to have encountered the coconut. He called it "the Pharaoh’s nut," describing it as a fruit full of flavour, sweet as sugar, and white as milk.


The coconut was originally called just ‘coco’ in English in the 16th century. Coco was a Spanish word meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features

The 96,000 people who visited the The Derby Exhibition of 1839 were able to view a coconut.

Coconuts played an important part during World War One. US gas mask manufacturers found that masks using coconut carbon were superior at filtering noxious substances, and saved many lives as a result.

The water inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma. Coconut water was during World War Two as a substitute for blood plasma in transfusions

The coconut is so versatile that in Malaysia it is called 'pokok seribu guna' - the tree of a thousand uses.

The sea coconut, also known as coco de mer, or double coconut, is endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. The mature fruit is 40–50 cm in diameter and weighs 15–30 kg, and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom.

A female Coco de mer palm tree with some seeds in the growth. Wkipedia Commons

Each year there are approximately 20 billion coconuts produced worldwide.

Most of the world production is in tropical Asia,. Indonesia is the world’s largest coconut producer, followed by the Philippines and India.

In Thailand, pigtailed macaques have been trained to harvest coconuts on large plantations. Males can harvest up to 1,600 coconuts in one day, while their human overlords can only harvest about 80.

Falling coconuts kill 150 people every year.

According to a report in 1984, 2.5 per cent of injuries treated at a hospital in New Guinea were caused by falling coconuts.

Sources Eat Out magazine, Daily Express

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