In 1973, researchers discovered date palm seeds dating all the way back to Biblical times at the site of Herod the Great’s fortified palace in Masada, Israel. Despite the fact that the seeds were 2,000 years old, researcher Elaine Solowey from the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Centre decided to sow and plant a seed, in hopes that it would grow. Eight years later, the ancient plant is blossoming for the third time, bringing a relic from ancient history to life.

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The thriving young palm is named Methuselah, after the story of the oldest person to ever live according to the Hebrew Bible. Defying skeptics, Solowey was inspired to resurrect the ancient seed after studying thousand-year-old lotus seeds that were able to sprout. After years of sitting in storage at a research facility, the seed was planted in 2005, and it finally blossomed six years later in 2011. It has blossomed each year since.

The ancient date palm is similar to its modern counterparts, except it has a unique longer third leaf, which seems to have dissipated in the evolution of the plant over the past 2,000 millennia.  Ancient Hebrews planted the date palm in groves and referred to it as the “tree of life,” as it provided shade from the desert sun and produced edible Judaen dates that were consumed and used for medicinal purposes.

The incredible blast from the past continues to flourish, to Solowey’s delight. The researcher plans to cross-breed the ancient date with its modern counterparts to make a stronger, more diverse tree.

Via Daily Mail

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