The exact location of a 5000-year-old tree in California is kept secret for a specific reason

Anita Durairaj

It is no secret that California is home to the oldest tree on Earth which is reported to be a 5000-year-old bristlecone pine tree called Methuselah.

Methuselah is located in the White Mountains of California. It is a single tree that is also known to be the oldest non-cloned organism on Earth.

Methuselah is found in the Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of Inyo National Forest.

Methuselah's exact location in the forest is being kept secret by the United States Forest Service.

There is one primary reason why the U.S. Forest Service has chosen to keep the specific location of the tree a secret. It is primarily because there is a danger that the tree could be cut down.

An incident in 1964 has great bearing on the Forest Service's decision to keep the tree a secret. In 1964, a tree called Prometheus was cut down by a graduate student. At the time, Prometheus was the world's oldest tree.

The graduate student in question, Donald Rusk Currey, had researched the trees in the area and took a special interest in Prometheus. Currey obtained permission from the Forest Service to cut down the tree for research purposes. After the tree was cut and sectioned, the researchers discovered that Prometheus was older than any other tree in the forest. The incident became controversial.

As a result of the accidental cutting down of Prometheus, the Forest Service implemented tighter restrictions on the felling of old trees.

Today, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to Methuselah, remains a protected area.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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