On an unassuming farm in South Africa, an almost impossibly large tree casts a shadow across the grass. Its trunk is so vast that it seems to go on forever, splitting into two mighty branches that stretch into the sky above. But that’s not the only intriguing thing about this specimen. In fact, an amazing secret is hidden inside this epic tree. And that’s where the fun really starts.
Back in 1989, Doug and Heather van Heerden purchased some land in Modjadjiskloof, a small town in Limpopo province at the northernmost point of South Africa. They called it Sunland Farm and subsequently got to work planting palm trees and mangoes.
As they cleared and transformed the land, however, the van Heerdens found that they had a previous resident to consider. Indeed, a massive baobab tree – which today has a trunk the size of a small house – had put down roots in the area around two thousand years ago.