Next time you go to the supermarket, instead of just buying some instant noodles and a Twix, why not take a moment to look at the fresh fruit? It’s all a bit strange, isn’t it? Bananas are a funny shape, kiwis have a furry skin and strawberries have their pips on the outside! Weird. However, believe it or not, these are actually pretty normal compared to some of the bizarre fruits grown around the world.
Thatch screwpine | Australia/Pacific Islands
The fruit of the thatch screwpine is made up of many little wedges, each containing between two and eight of the plant’s seeds.
These wedges (technically called phalanges, which is a funny word) can float, and this has allowed the fruit to spread from island to island – it now grows in coastal regions from Australia to Hawaii.
The buddha’s hand may be the world’s scariest fruit, but the thatch screwpine is the only one that can be used as a prop in a geology lesson.
As can be seen in the picture, when some of the phalanges (ha ha – phalanges!) are broken away from the main body of the fruit, the rest could be used to demonstrate the layers of the Earth.