Ancient Baobab Trees in Africa Dying at ‘Shocking’ Rate and No One Knows Why

The ancient baobab trees first sprouted on the African savannah about 1,500 years ago, inspiring awe and becoming an icon on the continent. Recognizable for their swollen trunks, one grew so large that a pub was constructed inside, attracting tourists from around the globe. Then, two years ago, the tree began to split apart, and eventually, it completely fell to pieces.

Scientists are now finding that these trees are dying under mysterious circumstances and they are stumped as to why. Several of the oldest and largest African boababs have died over the last decade, according to findings published in the peer-reviewed Nature Plants on Monday.

The researchers say the deaths were not caused by an epidemic since none of the trees show any signs of infection. They do wonder if the deaths might be…

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