A monster lurks in the heart of the Malagasy jungle. As the mists hiss and rise into swirling masses, they conceal a terrible entity. A cryptid that feeds on human flesh. It is hundreds of years old. It’s story has been carried throughout the annals of history. It is likely one can read the story regardless of their language or national origin, despite the fact this distant monster dwells in a remote island forest.
The Madagascar Tree is said to be a semi-sentient tree that consumes people. Some legends claim this tree was the focus of sacrifices by indigenous tribesman. Others claim that the tree is populated by myriad snakes that will blindly satisfy their voracious appetite with anyone, or thing, that comes close enough.
Some say that on a quiet day, if one strains to hear, they might find the solemn and urgent cries of victims carried on the wind. Others believe that woodpeckers, with a strange and magical gift, can release those trapped in the belly of this carnivorous beast.
Truth Stranger Than Fiction in Madagascar
The truth behind the Madagascar Tree, however, may be more fiction than fact. It is reported that the myth began in 1878 with German explorer Carl Liche (Karl Leche). At the time, Madagascar remained a remote and inhospitable land, dominated by wilderness. Liche reportedly took a group of Mkodo tribesmen with him as guides on the relevant expedition.
According to the lore, at some point, noting a strange tree and the agitation of his guides, Liche attempted to leave the area. But he was confronted by a human-eating tree teeming with slithering limbs. Seemingly he returned many days later, only to find a grinning skull stripped bare. No credible evidence of these claims has been discovered.
However, carnivorous plants do exist throughout the world. In Southeastern Asia, there have been confirmed accounts of carnivorous plants eating animals as large as small monkeys. It the presence of these pitcher plants and fly traps that adds fuel to the fire. It also helps keep some cryptozoologists in a job.