Dede – Half-Man, Half-Tree

Surprisingly, this is NOT a hoax.

Last year I wrote a post about Dede who had been featured on the Discovery Channel.

Unfortunately, that article was lost due to an issue with my database so here is both a recap and an update.

Half Man Half Tree

Dede a 35 year old man from Indonesia has an extraordinary skin condition.

Following an accident when he was 15, his body began growing roots, much like those found on a tree.

Initially, these ‘roots’ appeared on his leg, then his arms and feet, and now they grow all over his body at the rate of 5cm or so every year.

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Over the next few years the roots growing all over Dede led to him being sacked from his job as a fisherman.

His wife left him, and Dede was forced to take work in a freak show in order to support his two children.

As his condition became more debilitating even this proved difficult and so his children went to live with relatives.

Dr Anthony Gaspari

Dr Anthony Gaspari, a world expert in dermatology, from the University of Maryland travelled to Indonesia in order to attempt to diagnosis Dede’s mysterious condition.

He took skin samples for biopsies back in the USA and now believes he may have identified Dede’s condition as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in conjunction with a rare genetic fault.

He believes that Dede’s genetic fault impeded his immune system sufficiently to allow the virus to change his cellular structure to the point of growing tree-like roots, known as ‘cutaneous horns’.

Dr Gaspari believes that, whilst Dede will never be fully cured, a course of Vitamin A in association with several operations may allow him regain some functionality in his limbs.

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Since February Dede has had 4 operations that have given him increased mobility, allowing him to write and eat by himself.

It is expected that Dede will have another 3 or 4 more operations in an attempt to give him as normal a life as possible.

Considering the heartache that Dede has been through, along with all the ridicule he has undoubtedly faced, I for one can only hope that the treatment is a resounding success.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. I think it is sad that so many people are getting a laugh out of this individual’s condition. Imagine for a moment you lived this way. It is the luck of the draw. You have not earned the right to ridicule or boast. Shame on you.

  2. Samantha Morris says:

    In the last video it does look like he is recovering but will he ever be fully cured?

    • I think it’s unlikely he will ever be fully recovered but let’s hope his quality of life improves.

  3. This is an old story? I am sure I saw it just a few days ago. Lets hope the poor fella gets some sort of cure.

  4. Why do people have to make light of such serious subjects?

    • What has happened to Dede is very serious but humor helps people deal with such events sometimes doesn’t it?

  5. Claire Gouge says:

    That’s wicked Clive 🙁

  6. Can you imagine the commotion if he drops his cigarette? ha ha

  7. You gotta wonder how he gets his clothes on and off?

    • I can’t imagine that’s high on Dede’s list of priorities but it’s certainly an interesting question.

  8. I too was wondering how he manages to dress himself.

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