Today in 2021, a very long wait was over.
Researchers harvested three bunches of dates from trees that had sprouted from seeds over two thousand years old.
The story starts with Sarah Sallon, a doctor at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.
She had been studying Judean date palm trees as medicinal plants.
The only catch was, there weren’t any Judean date palm trees around.
But there were Judean date palm seeds.
Archeologists had found them in the 1960s and kept them in storage.
They looked to be in pretty good condition, given they may have dated back to the year 74.
Eventually the archeologists were willing to share the two thousand year old seeds with Sallon,
But would they actually grow?
Sallon partnered with botanist Elaine Solowey to find out.
Solowey gave the seeds water and fertilizer, the same stuff that seeds from this century get.
In 2005, she got one seed to turn into a tree.
They named it Methusaleh, after the Biblical figure who lived to be 969.
After that, Sallon and Solowey tried 32 more seeds.
This time, six turned into trees.
And finally in 2021, actual date palms from these trees that had started as seeds a very, very long time ago.
For the record, some of the fruit was set aside for study, along with the research to find out how exactly these seeds stayed viable for longer than most of us thought possible.
But of course they ate some too.
Today in 1989, the biggest human chain of all time.
People in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands to protest occupation by the Soviet Union.
Their “chain of friendship” as it’s been called stretched over 428 miles, which was a lot of hands.
After 2,000 Years, These Seeds Have Finally Sprouted (The Atlantic)
A Chain of Friendship: Reflections on the Baltic Way and Inspiration for Belarus (Foreign Policy Research Institute)
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Photo by DASonnenfeld – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikicommons