Monkey-trap tree

Since plants are not able to move or have any will to hide or resist identification, few cryptids are plants, and most cryptobotanical species remain undetected either due to their extremely remote habitat, or because they’re dangerous. The “monkey-trap tree” is both. 


In Botanist Randall Schwartz’s 1974 book Carnivorous Plants, he writes about a recent report by a Brazilian explorer known as Mariano da Silva. He claimed to have across an unknown species while attempting to locate a village inhabited by the isolated Yatapu tribe around the border between Guyana and Brazil. He wrote that the “tree” would release some kind of pheromone that would attract small mammals, often spider monkeys, marmosets and tamarins. As the monkey would climb up its trunk to locate the source of the pheromone, its thick leaves would reflexively smother the animal. After a couple of days, the leaves would retract, dropping the stripped bones of its prey, with the flesh presumably dissolved by acid. 


Although none of the monkey-trap tree’s abilities are unheard of, as Venus flytraps can clamp shut and pitcher plants can release pheromones and consume mammals, no known species of carnivorous plant is anywhere near large enough to consume monkeys or have strong enough leaves to resist an animal the size of a monkey attempting to escape. 


Some cryptozoologists, like Karl Shuker dispute the authenticity of this account, as there’s no source to Randall Shwartz’s “report.” There is also no tribe called “Yatapu”, although it is likely a misspelling of the Ye’kuana or Yanomami people, who do inhabit the Guyana/Brazil border area.

A tree covered in carnivorous Veitch’s pitcher plants in Borneo (Cr. Alex Hyde)