Dede Koswara is a 35 year old fisherman in Indonesia. As a teenager, he cut his knee, and ever since then strange growths have covered his body. The growths on his hands and feet look especially like tree roots, and the large patches on his skin resemble the bark of a tree. As such, he’s simply called Tree Man.
Dede is thought to suffer from a tongue-twister of a disease known as Epidermodysplasia verruciformis. What this means is that he has an abnormal susceptibility to human pappilomaviruses. Human pappilomaviruses (HPVs) are extremely easy to contract, and it has been suggested that up to 80% of people may be infected, though they show no symptoms. There are around 200 known types of HPV, but the majority have no noticeable affect. In rare instances, it can lead to certain forms of cancer, but the most common result of an HPV infection is your simple, everyday wart.
Because of Dede’s body’s inability to stop the development of these growths on his skin, they have simply become larger and larger over time. The hands and feet are especially vulnerable to HPV, and as such his “roots” have grown especially large there.
For 20 years, the case has baffled doctors. While scientists understand the cause of his problem, nobody has been able to truly cure it yet. In 2007, Dede made international news when he hit the Internet and was featured in “My Shocking Story” on the Discovery Channel and TLC. (This show is “Extraordinary People” in the United Kingdom.) Later, in 2008, he was the subject of an episode of the popular program “Medical Mystery” as well.
The Tree Man of Java - Human Treeman Dede Koswara Video
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