Mysterious Carved Tree Hoax

Email claims that attached photographs depict a huge living tree located in India in which figures of animals have miraculously grown naturally all over the tree’s trunk without human influence.

Brief Analysis:
The claims in the message are untrue. The “tree” in the photographs is completely artificial. The tree is, in fact, the famous “Tree of Life”, an icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a theme park located in Florida, USA.

Subject: A Mysterious Tree in NALGONDA — Andra Pradesh — India
At a glance you may be confused the above tree with a massive trunk with a ‘Baobab’ tree (which is renowned to possess the largest tree trunks of the world) but, this is yet another unknown specie which is seen in the close proximity of a hermitage deep in the dense forest in ‘Andra Pradesh’ in India. And most importantly it is natural not artificial.
Now have a close look at the bark and experience the unbelievable figures of creatures engraved in the surface of the entire tree trunk!! Absolutely real!!! Not man made

Detailed Analysis:
According to this email forward, attached photographs show a massive tree that has a trunk covered with detailed images of many different creatures. The email claims that the tree is an example of an unknown species that grows in a dense forest in Andra Pradesh India. The message would have us believe that the tree is a completely natural living plant and that all of the animal figures on its trunk have mysteriously grown there naturally and without human interference.

Not surprisingly, these claims are utter nonsense. The “tree” in the photographs is completely artificial and, moreover, it is not even located in India. The tree is, in fact, the famous Tree of Life, an icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a theme park located in Florida, USA. The artificial tree was assembled out of a range of materials and appears amazingly lifelike. An article about the tree on Disney information website, DIS, notes:

The first challenge was designing a 145 foot tall “tree” that could stand up to hurricane force winds, but still look realistic. A unique system of fabricating and assembling the branches was designed that brought the flexibility that was needed to bring this idea to life. There are 45 secondary branches that lead to 756 tertiary branches. With 7891 end branches, the entire structure is covered with 102,583 manmade leaves, each of which is more than a foot long.

Carvings of well over 300 animals were then added to the surface of the tree by a team of skilled artisans. The massive trunk even houses a theater that screens a 3D animated movie, Its Tough To Be A Bug.

An alternative version of the message that features the same set of photographs claims that the tree is located in Africa and suggests that the shapes have been carved into the tree over a number of years. These claims are – of course – also untrue. The African version of the hoax message contains the following text:


It would be interesting to know how many years this work of art has been in progress. It looks like some branches were coiled while still pliable to form some of the shapes?? It amazes me how someone can actually carve and sculpture like this and not kill (girdle) the tree!!!!!…

Photographs of The Tree of Life can be see on many other websites.

Last updated: September 10, 2013
First published: August 6, 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

The Tree of Life
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The Tree of Life
Its Tough To Be A Bug

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