Tree of Life: The tree that grows in the middle of a desert

Most people don’t cope with a lack of drink very well. I know I certainly don’t; I need to have a ready supply of ice-cold carbonated drinks on standby throughout the day. But this Prosopis cineraria tree from Bahrain manages to cope very well indeed considering it’s in the middle of a very dry desert.

The Tree of Life from a distance

Named the Tree of Life, this leafy baby is located on top of a high sandy mound on the Middle Eastern island of Bahrain. The mound is a tell, which a basically a hill that’s formed around an old human settlement. The tell the Tree of Life is sitting on top of was formed around a 500-year-old fortress. But the really impressive thing about the Tree of Life is that it’s survived for around 400 years without any obvious, nearby source of water.

The Tree of Life

It’s thought that the tree has survived so well for so long because of it’s very deep roots. When I say “deep roots”, I don’t mean that he’s really well integrated with the local community; I mean literal roots. Trees and shrubs of the Prosopis genus, like the Tree of Life, are known to have one of the deepest root systems in the world, meaning he’s probably drinking from a water source many hundreds of feet underground.

Underneath the Tree of Life

You can see just how isolated the Tree of Life is on Google Maps (he’s the little green patch just to left of the marker):

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About Dom Stapleton

Dom Stapleton

As well as being the world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik in Iceland is also an incredible place to visit.

We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of the city and spent most days walking around from there. The main thing we noticed (apart from the cold, of course) was that the people are so friendly. At home, trying to cross the road is a nightmare, but in Reykjavik, the cars are literally queuing up to let you across.

When my partner and I went, in January 2013, the sun only started rising at about 10 am, which was a strange experience. And it got dark at about 4 pm each day!

Dom works in our marketing team

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