You’re relaxing on the shore of a tropical island, soaking in the surf and sunshine, when all of a sudden- BOOSH! In utter surprise, you turn around to discover that you were nearly killed by a fallen coconut. It makes you wonder if it were just a few inches closer, then the world as you know it would have all ended in a quick fraction of a second. It may sound funny, however, there are roughly 150 people that are killed annually from falling coconuts. Statistics say this makes it 10 times more likely to die by a coconut than a shark attack. Since some mature trees may grow up to 24 to 35 meters, and bear coconuts weigh from 1 to 4kg (due to all the water it holds), a falling blow to your head can reach up to 1 metric ton in force! I’ve never been one to be worrisome about coconuts, or any falling fruit for that matter, but whenever I’m around trees I can’t help but look up and check what beholds atop. Having a previous near-death experience myself, it hasn’t changed me for the better per se, but I’ve definitely become more cautious. Afterall, death by some type of courageous activity sounds so much better than death by a falling coconut. I can see the headlines now: “Man Dies Accidental Death by Coconut.” I can also see my friends and family laughing hysterically.
Most people who were reported having died by coconut were typically beachgoers taking naps under the trees. Napping makes it even more certain of injury since lying down creates a backing of ground or surface behind the head (opposed to standing up vertically). As crazy as it sounds, if you’re going to get hit by one, it’s a safer experience while standing. Go figure.
Next time you decide to embark on a visit to a tropical beach, it might be in your best interest to take mind of your surroundings, and look above before setting down that beach towel or posting up that chair. In any case, avoiding a death or injury by coconut would not just prevent a silly accident, but an entertaining headline to boot.