Most lone tree on the ground
• Most lone tree on the ground
For tens of kilometers around there was nothing but hot sand. Tree grew in the desert, in the heart of Nigeria becoming real mystery to scientists. Tells the story of a lonely tree in the world.
In the language of the people inhabiting the area of Nigerian Tarka, the word "Tenere" means "an isolated area". And there is. Major roads encircle this harsh land area of 1300 square kilometers, where there is nothing but sand and wind. The only track that passes in the region, leading from the city of Agadez in the other - Bilma. There was a tree, and when he saw that the passing shouted: "Tafagag" And although the local dialect means "Acacia", in the vast sea of sand word had the same meaning as "I see land!" Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
For decades, the Ténéré was a true beacon for passing caravan. Local revered. But scientists in 1930, decided to investigate. And we found out that the root of the three-meter acacia for nearly 300 years, the trunk can be changed up to three times. But how could it ever grow here and what lives? The Tuaregs have long answered this question - thanks to the god of thunder and lightning Adobe that has turned into a tree one recalcitrant, but persistent young man.
Scientists have found another explanation, and along with "material evidence" left by the ancient ancestors - arrowheads and stone axes. And yes, the remains of numerous fauna: elephants, giraffes, hippos and antelopes. All of them were wandering in these places about 600 000 years ago. Because then life in Tarka was in full swing - right out of the ground: there was a lake, surrounded by lush vegetation flourished. To her last "goodbye" and refers lonely acacia. The climate is changing, and the desert was advancing. The vegetation is extinct, humans and animals were gone. Before the onslaught of sand stood only Ténéré, just to the young man from the legend. No romance here is not: a tree managed to reach ground water, lying at a depth of 33-36 meters - the same ones that once fed ancient lake.
When it became clear near the tree dug two wells: the travelers are now able not only to take refuge in the shadow of the blessed, but also drink plenty of cold water. But the French ethnologist and explorer Henri Lhote Africa passed by a tree several times, and once again saw him in 1959, wrote that it came in rather deplorable state - part of it was broken. Why - is hard to say. Some said that it accidentally hit a military truck, which stopped here, handed over backwards, others - that it has become a victim of the hurricane.
Nevertheless acacia lived and gave shade. In a cruel twist of her fate finally I decided a truck crashed into a tree in 1973 and finally his dolman. The driver was a Libyan who was probably drunk.
The remains of Ténéré was taken to the National Museum of Niger in Niamey, even build a separate pavilion for them. And at the point where resilience grown acacia, metallic memorial set as a dry bore. Tenere really was unique: individual trees in the desert - is nonsense. It was believed even that around Acacia did not meet a single other tree within a radius of 400 km. Later it turned out that it is not - 150 km away is the oasis called Timia, where there are bodies of water and vegetation.
Yet analogues dead acacia tree that would grow alone in such a desolate place, unknown (we are not talking about a separate growing species). Unless Hadzhart al-Haya, which is translated from the local language means "tree of life". Fortunately, it is alive and well and still grows in the sands of Bahrain, 2 km from the mountains of Jebel Dukan. This is not an acacia - tree belongs to the so-called prozopisovym. But it is even older Ténéré - he is about 400 years old. It also feeds the groundwater.