Astonishing Coconut Facts
- Coconut water from young coconuts is used as a breast milk substitute in India. The jelly-like young coconut meat is also used as baby food in Brazil. And in the Philippines, coconut products are specifically marketed to young mothers.
- Coconut water is applied to sunburnt skin in India. It's a cooling natural remedy after overexposure to the sun, although the feeling of having 3 litres of ice-cold coconut water with pulp poured over you might take some getting used to.
- The ph-value of coconut water is very similar to that of our blood and its salt levels are equivalent to that of our cells. Protected by the nut, coconut water remains pure and sterile even after its long journey across oceans and continents. For that reason, in wars and crises, e.g. during the Second War in the Pacific from 1941 to 1945, coconut water was given to wounded soldiers intravenously as a plasma substitute.
- In the USA some health-conscious people ingest a spoonful of pure coconut oil every day. There are even coconut oil tablets! We think that might be going a bit far and instead we recommend our delicious coconut oil recipes.
- Coconuts can drift over 4,500 kilometers in salty sea water without losing their capacity to germinate.
- Even today, coconuts are still harvested manually and a bold worker with a head for heights has to climb the coconut palm tree to get to the nuts. In South India / Kerala there is even a coconut climbing training academy. Read more about harvesting techniques here.
- The coconut Coco-de-Mer is an especially aethetically pleasing coconut in the shape of a heart that only grows in the Seychelles. It is also known as the Seychelles nut or sea coconut and is the symbol of the small island republic.
- You can also extract biofuel from coconuts. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, mixed the coconut oil of 150,000 coconuts with a bit of babassu palm oil and traditional kerosin to fuel a transatlantic flight with a Boeing 747.
- On some South Pacific islands there are more coconuts than the inhabitants could possibly consume. Because of their geographic isolation and also due to political instability, coconut biofuel is a economically and environmentally sound substitute for fossil fuels. On the Solomon Islands, for example, there are multiple coconut oil refineries.
- Allegedly, more people are killed by falling coconuts each year than by shark attacks. According to a study be the University of Florida, 150 people die each year through coconut-related injuries - about 15 times as many as are eaten by sharks.
- The coconut crab (birgus latro) is also known as the palm thief and is capable of opening a coconut with its huge pincers. The crabs climb the coconut palms, remove the coconut husk and beat the shell until the coconut breaks open. The coconut crab can grow up to 40 cm in length and with outstretched pincers it can even span an entire meter.
- It is not conclusively proven if coconut pearls, which are wildly popular in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, really exist. On Sulawesi (Celebes) they are regarded as a divine phenomenon that is traditionally confined to the treasure chambers of the rich and powerful. They are said to be found in so-called blind coconuts. Normally, coconuts have three holes in their shell, the so-called eyes, of which two are always closed. The coconut germ bud breaks its way through the third, 'open' eye. If that path is blocked, according to the coconut pearl theory, a process called lithopaedion takes place, i.e. the germ bud fossilizes. The plant embryo is covered with limescale and hardens. In the process it develops into a round, pearl-like form, ranging from pea-sized to hazelnut-sized. A blind coconut is one in 11,000, but according to the pearl theory, not even every blind nut produces a pearl.