An Indonesian man know as "Tree Man" -- because of a rare condition that causes his skin to have a bark-like texture -- is the focus of Internet rumors linking him to a J.R.R. Tolkien sequel to 'The Lord of the Rings'.

More on that below. It's first important to understand Dede Koswara's disease, caused by a childhood accident after warts grew into an open wound and eventually covered his entire body. Medical experts said the disease was caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), and a genetic deficit would not allow his body to fight off the infection.

In 2007, the world became aware of Dede after the 34-year-old was featured on several networks, including the Discovery Channel, TLC, and an ABC’s Medical Mystery episode titled “Tree Man”. So large and numerous were the warts covering his body that his skin appeared like the bark of a tree -- with some extending 10cm from his hands and feet; giving the appearance of branches.

Hence, Dede's comparison to the legendary "Tree Ents" featured in J.R.R Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' series. But concerning those movie rumors -- I'm prone to believe that it's just made up gossip -- especially since there is no sequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' by Tolkien. There's a prequel in 'The Hobbit' coming soon -- but I'm not certain Ents play a role in that film.

Either way, what's important to point out here is that all the attention paid to Dede has helped him receive medical help for his condition that otherwise would not have been possible in his village.

From the site Health Jackal:

Dede has endured 9 months of treatment and now 95% of the warts have been removed from his body. Warts have returned, however, and he will need two surgeries a year for the rest of his life.

Where he was previously working in a circus, the guy can now return to being the fisherman he was before his condition worsened -- as well as do things we all take for granted, like walking. If he's cast in some movie, so be it -- but unlike Internet speculation, it won't be because he looks like a tree.

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