This is a joke right? Coconuts? Are you serious? I thought that this was an urban myth – or rather a tropical island myth.
Nope. No joke – this is serious stuff. Sharks might not be waiting just off the beach to bite your leg off, but that coconut tree you are lying under for a bit of shade, may just bite you in the ass in its own particular way.
A new ‘stem’ of coconuts starts with hundreds of tiny coconuts on it, but as they grow the vast majority of these fall off and no one notices. Once they get to the size of a fist, there may be just 30 or 40 of these fledgling coconuts left on the stem. And the process continues – as they continue to grow there is not enough room on the stem of all of them, so they squeeze their fellow coconuts off and they (of course) fall to the ground. These are not killer coconuts but they will still give you a nice bruise if one of these things falling from 40 feet up hit you. But, this process continues and once the coconuts get to ‘head’ size they weigh a couple of kilograms and you really don’t want one of these bad boys hitting you.
Now of course the chances of this happening at exactly the time you are lying/sitting/walking under that tree is very slim indeed, but the longer you stay under that tree, the better your chances of seeing this phenomenon. Personally, I have had 4 near misses (2 meters or less) – it makes you jump out of your skin every time and speeds up your heart rate nicely. And not one of these was whilst lying under a tree – just as I was walking or riding (my motorbike) along.
BUT DON’T WORRY!! At Star Villa we have your back. Every 6 to 8 months we have all our coconut trees trimmed. Mr Thatha (a Burmese guy) shimmies up each to and cuts of the growing coconuts, the new coconut pods (that contain the stems with thousands of tiny coconuts on them), and some of the leaves. It is a great spectator sport as it is dangerous and physically challenging work – and there are lots of insects too to make the job a little itchy too. Plus the odd snake that gets flicked off into the surrounding treetops. The larger bunches of coconuts and the leaves get lowered to the ground by a rope to minimize the damage to our garden areas. Our guests also then get to enjoy free fresh coconuts for a week or so. And they can walk around the villa confident in the knowledge that they are not going to get bashed by falling nuts.
Just remember – be careful out there.