The Tree of Ténéré was a solitary acacia tree that stood in the middle of the Sahara. Located in northeast Niger, it was a landmark for caravans passing through the area, and was once the most isolated tree on Earth as it was the only one for over 200 km. It was thought to be the last survivor from a time when the area was less arid. In 1939 a well was dug near the tree, and it was discovered that it had roots that went all the way down to the local water table, more than 100 feet down.
Now some of you are probably thinking “That tree sounds pretty badass. What’s this doing on this site about stupid shit?” Well, you’ll notice I’ve been talking about the tree in the past tense. That’s because it’s gone now, dead since the early 70s. But the real bit of stupidity is how it died.
Simply put, the most remote tree on the planet was knocked over by a truck in 1973. A drunk Libyan truck driver somehow managed to find the only obstacle near the road for hundreds of kilometers and crash into it. The truly amazing thing about it is that this wasn’t even the first time the tree had been hit by a truck. It had happened before, sometime in the 1950s, and the tree had been severely damaged but managed to survive. This time, however, a drunk asshole accomplished what nature never could, and killed the tree.
Seriously, look at this. That’s the tree as it looked in the 60s. Notice how there is nothing else around it, from horizon to horizon. Exactly how drunk do you have to be to run into that? Hell, if you were just driving through the desert randomly, with a blindfold on, you’d be extremely unlikely to hit it! You almost have to try to run into that. And yet it happened twice.
I almost think those drivers deserve medals or something. I mean, they ought to get some kind of recognition for being the worst drivers on the planet, right?