January 15, 2015

Methuselah, a thriving young date palm sprouted from an ancient seed

A security fence protects Methuselah

Tamar in Hebrew means a date fruit or date palm. Meet young date palm Methuselah, affectionately named for the man reported in the Hebrew Bible to have lived the longest at the age of 969. Methuselah the tree is tenderly cultivated by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura. Brainiac scientists germinated him (yes, he is male) from a seed nearly 2,000 years old found in the area. 

Methuselah's Snow-White-like awakening was widely covered by the media, including The New York Times that published fascinating details here, After 2,000 Years, a Seed From Ancient Judea Sprouts.

I captured this photo on a recent study tour of sustainable energy ventures in Israel's sparsely populated southern Arava desert valley (between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, a northern extension of the Red Sea). 

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