Mysterious Magical Tree

Baobab Trees

This tree is called ‘The tree of life’
This tree is called ‘Bottle tree’
This tree is called ‘Monkey bread tree’
This tree is called ‘Upside down tree’

I am talking about The Baobab tree. This tree is found in dry areas of Madagascar (Africa) and in Australia. In fact, this tree is the National Tree of Madagascar.

There is an interesting reason behind every name this tree has. It is called ‘the tree of life’ because it provides shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animals and humans. Grown up trees are often hollow. A perfect cosy space for anyone to live! The bark and stem are used for making clothes. The leaves and vitamin-C rich fruits are eaten. Clefts of the large branches are used to store rainwater for people to use later. Did you know in the Disney movie “”Lion King”, Rafiki and Simba often hung around the tree of life?

Why this tree is called bottle tree? The shape of the tree clearly holds the clue. Notice the enormous trunk. Doesn’t it resemble a bottle? And just like a bottle can hold water, the trunk can hold up to 120,000 litres of water.

Baobab tree fruits

Why the fruit of this tree is called monkey bread?  You must wonder. Seems like an unusual name for a tree. This tree’s fruits are large pods known as ‘monkey bread’. They are favorite fruits of monkeys hanging around!

A baobab tree is leafless most of the year. The barren branches look like roots sticking up in the air. It looks exactly like a tree that is upside down! There are many legends behind why it is like that. One legend says that when God made the world he gave each animal a tree. Hyena got the baobab. Foolish hyena, instead of planting it the right way planted it upside down!!

Many Africans have another story to tell. Baobab tree was unhappy with its looks from the time it was created by God. It was whiny and yelled at God all the time for being partial and making it unattractive. One day God, fed up of his baseless complaints, came back to Earth. He pulled it from the ground, turned it over, and replanted it upside down. With his mouth now buried in the ground, baobab couldn’t complain anymore.

Baobab trees can live up to thousands of years. People say when they die, they collapse into a heap of mushy, hairy pulp that burns, OR it turns into dust that gets blown away by the wind only to create new baobab trees!!

I had never heard about such a magical tree in my life. Had you?

5 comments

  1. Isn’t Madagascar a part of the continent of Africa? Or is there a country called Africa that I’ve never heard of?

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