Florida lost one of its most beloved (and undoubtedly oldest) tourist attractions this week when a 3,400-year-old Cypress burned to the ground inside of Seminole County’s Big Tree Park.
Nicknamed The Senator, the tree was perhaps the oldest in the nation and maybe even the world. Standing over 140 feet tall, the Senator wowed visitors arriving on flights to Florida with its sheer size and nearly unfathomable age. The ancient tree sprouted somewhere around the time of Moses.
So what finally felled the tree that stood the test of time for so long? Investigators believe an undetected fire smoldered inside of the tree after a lightning strike last week.
Despite the tragedy, there is a bit of a silver lining to this story. Firefighters were able to save a nearby Cypress nick-named Lady Liberty, according to NPR. Scientists place her age at roughly 2,000 years.
CC Flickr photo credit: Ed Summers