Underground Forests of South Africa

A species of baobab tree in South Africa protects itself from fire damage in this dry area by growing mostly upside down. The tree can be as old as 13,000 years. These forests were initially discovered by people building roads. The tops of the trees looked like bushes, but when they started trying to uproot them, they found there was much more below the surface.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The phenomenon of an "underground forest" exists in Africa as trees adapt to grow underground because the surface is very dry. 00:19

  2. The oldest of South Africa's underground forests are about 13,000 years old. 01:16

  3. The underground forests of South Africa were discovered by people building roads who thought they were pulling up bushes. 01:33

Written by Curiosity Staff May 5, 2015

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.