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50,000 Year Old Wood

50,000 Year Old Wood

It's called ancient kauri, and it's over 50,000 years old. Yes, 50,000!!! The oldest workable wood in the world, ancient kauri shows just the earliest signs of petrification. Called "whitebait" the small veins of mineral deposits give the wood a luminescence that's one-of-a-kind. 50,000 years ago, in what is now Northern New Zealand, a major natural event felled huge forests of kauri trees that had been growing for some 2,000 years. This event also created bogs in the area which protected these giants from the elements. Today these trees are typically found under farmland, where they are excavated carefully and the ground is returned to its previous contours. Just for some perspective here are a few things that happened on Earth less than 50,000 years ago...16,000 years ago the depressions that would become the Great Lakes were fully formed; the last Ice Age ended approximately 5,000 years ago; Homo Sapiens reached the area these trees were recovered only around 40,000 years ago!

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