Posted in Geography, Nature, Science

Around the World: The Baobab Tree

*~* This post continues a series highlighting places and things from around the world. The first in the series, a journey to the ancient civilization of Machu Picchu, can be found here. *~*

Trees need no introduction. They provide humans and animals oxygen, shade, innumerable fruits and…water? Typically, we associate trees with the former qualities, but one tree shatters stereotypes and defies the odds by proving the latter. All the while never moving an inch.

Case in point: the Baobab Tree. Known in many parts as the “tree of life”, the Baobab (BAY-o-baab) tree stores water in its trunk. And this isn’t just a few gallons of water, but up to 30,000 gallons of water at once! These trees have given critical support for travelers in the deserts where they are found, providing water to humans and animals by simply cutting a part of its branches or trunk. Wild animals need only to chew its branches to have access to water which would otherwise be impossible to find. Thus, the “tree of life”.

But that’s not all. Here are some more facts about this spectacular tree.

The Baobab tree is native to Madagascar, other parts of Africa, the southern Arabian peninsula and Australia. Its height ranges between 16 and 98 feet, and its diameter between 23 and 36 feet. Its carbon samples date back 6,000 years, meaning the Baobab tree could very well be the oldest living tree in the world.

The “Avenue of the Baobabs”, Menabe, Madagascar. Photo by Getty, via the Travel Channel.

The tree also grows a fruit which is now being hailed as super in its nature, qualities and benefits. And it might not be long before it’s in grocery stores worldwide. It has already taken the European market by storm. And with good reason. The baobab fruit contains more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, along with high levels of iron and magnesium. So many useful properties, all in a coconut-size fruit.

The Baobab “superfruit” from Mozambique. Photo by Ton Rulkens, via Flickr.

The people of Africa have enjoyed the benefits and splendor of the Baobab tree for centuries, but it’s truly wonderful that the rest of us can marvel at its wonders with just as much appreciation.

Stay inspired,

Curious x Nature

Sources: National Geographic, The Guardian, About.Com, BaobabSuperfruit.Com, Travel Channel.

Featured Image (by Bernard Gagnon, via Wikimedia Commons) can be found here.

4 thoughts on “Around the World: The Baobab Tree

  1. Wow! That is amazing! I have seen pictures of this tree but never knew it stored that much water or have such amazing fruit!! Thanks for another great post!

    1. There is so much interesting information on this tree, and I wanted to include all of it, but the post was getting too long. Yes, it’s known as the “upside-down tree” in Africa, and people actually carve out its trunks for storage and barns and such. Fascinating stuff!

      Thanks for contributing!

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