1782: Bottom-like coconuts highly prized in the Seychelles




William Thomson was a late 18th century Scottish writer and theologian. The son of a Lothian carpenter, Thomson was an excellent student and received scholarships to study at St Andrew’s and Edinburgh universities. After a brief stint in the clergy, Thomson moved to London and wrote extensively on military matters, history, law and poetry. He also travelled widely and published accounts of his experiences abroad. Writing in 1782, Thomson described a visit to Praslin, the second largest island of Seychelles. Praslin was small and remote but according to Thomson had arable land with excellent soil and a good amount of tall timber. Even better, it produced a type of coconut that looked and smelled like a human backside:

“These islands are remarkable for producing a tree which yields a kind of cocoa-nut, representing in the most striking manner the figure of a human breech [buttocks], thighs, etc. [and] having a fetid smell from an aperture of the fundament, like that of human excrement. The Indians, struck with this resemblance, set an enormous value upon these nuts…”

Source: William Thomson, Travels in Europe, Asia and Africa &c., 1782. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.

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