3.000 billion: this is the esteemed number of trees on our planet. About 422 for each person. A number that is progressively getting lower considering that every year about 15 billion trees are cut down and only 5 billion are replanted. They are present on Earth for more than 370 billion years and each one has its history to tell and something that makes its unique. Someone more than the others straggle to survive the continuous expansion of man. They often grow in extreme conditions, showing an incredible capacity resistance and adaptation. What are the 7 most curious and fascinating trees in the world?
The force of nature: the 7 most extraordinary trees in the world
#1 Methuselah: the eldest tree that goes for 5000 years
The eldest tree in the world is a bristlecone pine named Methuselah after the biblical patriarch who lived 969 years. It’s nothing comparing with the age of this tree that has 4852 years. Doing the math, its germination has been estimated 2832 B.C. and this year it will have its 4853rd birthday.
It rises in the White Mountains in California, but its precise location is kept secret to prevent damages and vandalism. There was an even older specimen, called Prometheus, but in 1964, at the “venerable” age of 4844 years, it was torn down.
#2 Hyperion: the tallest tree in the world
The record for the tallest tree in the world goes to Hyperion, a Californian sequoia that reaches 115,85 meters in high. It is located in the National Park of Redwood, and it was only discovered in 2006 thanks to two naturalists. In this case also, its precise position is not known because it will attract crowds of curious tourists that could compromise its health.
#3 The most dangerous tree in the world
You have to be careful with some plant species, especially with the Mancinella. This tree is typical of the Caribbean and of the Central America, and it’s highly toxic. The barely touch of the sap cause severe dermatitis and its fruit can even be deadly. I recommend you, if you should find yourself near a Mancinella when it rains, move quickly, and do not shelter under it, the sap would in fact drip from the leaves causing serious blisters.
#4 The tree of hope
This tree is for sure one of the most amazing. It is famous today as a symbol of hope, strength and resistance. It is the only one in a forest of over 70,000 to have survived the 2011 Fukushima tsunami.
#5 The tree that’s under arrest
In 2016 a Pakistan newspaper proposed to its readers a bizarre photograph: an enchained tree with an hanging sign that reads “I am under arrest”. This weird story dates back to 1898 when a drunk British officer ordered his sergeant to arrest the tree because he was convinced it was moving toward him. Since that time, the tree has remained in chains. Upon learning of the story, the Washington Post picked up on what the Pakistani newspaper said, pointing out that the strange arrest may have actually been an act of intimidation, a warning to anyone trying to defy British law.
#6 The trees that are shaped by the wind
In the southern part of New Zealand, 4800 km from the South Pole, trees with an incredible shape grow. The winds, strong and continuous, shape them, making them develop with twisted and original shapes. These plants exist thanks to the sheep breeders who live nearby and who have planted them to offer their animals some shelter from the weather.
#7 The loneliest: 270 kilometers from the nearest one
Let’s stay in New Zealand for the last tree on our list: the most isolated. On Campbell Island lives a tree all alone, just think that the nearest is 270km away, not much of a social distance.
This title, actually, until 1973 belonged to Tenere, a tree that stood alone in the Sahara Desert in Niger. It was the only tree within a 400km radius, until it was cut down by a truck driver during a maneuver.
And do you have any curious tree in mind? Tell us in the comments!