The story originally appeared the Thai-language newspaper Thai Rath, but was picked up by Tabloid Prodigy from an English-language rewrite in the Phuket Gazette.
Thongphian Thammakhan, 50, the owner of a shop on the police station grounds, supposedly told the Rath that the tree is about 100 years old. She said the tree has always had the gash in the trunk but has only recently developed the shiny mound. Villagers are apparently unsure as to why the lump shines.
However, there are aspects to the Vagina Tree story that smell funny to skeptics like Richard Rubacher, an expatriate writer living in Bangkok.
"None of the locals I've spoken with have even heard of the tree," said Rubacher, who has been living and writing about Thailand since 2001. "One tourism official just laughed and said, 'It's a hoax.' "
Rubacher believes that a tree shaped like a vagina is hard to miss and says that its existence wouldn't go unnoticed in Thailand.
Rubacher interviewed Songsak Wannawijit, a police official who works at the station where the alleged vagina tree is located and he adamantly denied the existence of the sex-organ-shaped tree.
"I never heard of such a tree," Songsak said, before excusing himself for a moment to look outside. "I just looked at the court yard again. The vagina tree is not there."
Rubacher said the police official insisted that news reports about the tree's existence are definitely a "gohok," the Thai word for hoax.
He added, "If anyone had won the lottery, I would have known, as this would have been big news around here."