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Loggers Chop Down This Really Old Tree. But Were Completely Stunned By What They Found Inside The Trunk!

People have been logging the forests ever since they stopped being nomadic and settled down in one area.  In America, as soon as the settlers arrived in Jamestown, Virginia they set to work falling trees to make shelters and protect them from the elements.

Over the years the industry has changed drastically to fit people’s needs.  Nowadays logging is primarily done for lumber and producing paper pulp to make into a variety of paper products.  That was what a team from Georgia Craft Company were out logging for one day back in 1980 in a forest near Jasper, Georgia.  They were cutting down American Chestnut trees when they noticed that the first one they stuck their axe into was hollow. While unusual, it wasn’t a big deal, so they forged ahead and cut it down because it was still useable and valuable.

Once the tree was felled, they began cutting it up into smaller pieces that would fit on the back of the logging truck.  However, before they started sawing it down to size, they realized that something was stuck up inside the tree trunk. When they looked down it there was no light passing through.

Curious, the loggers moved in to take a closer look and what met their gaze was shocking. The angry looking face of a snarling animal with sharp teeth peered out, causing them to immediately jump back and away from the tree. They couldn’t believe their eyes; they were looking at what seemed to be a very odd looking sort of dog.  It appeared frozen in time and the loggers just knew they’d stumbled upon something strange. Not knowing quite what to do with it, they set it aside and got back to work.

About a year later the hollow Chestnut tree ended up at Southern Forest Word, a new museum dedicated to forestry that was about to open to the public.  Staff at the museum knew the strange discovery would be a huge draw and wanted to know everything about the story behind the dog in the tree.

The dog appeared to have been naturally mummified and Kristina Killgrove, a biological anthropologist from the University of West Florida, came up with an explanation for how this likely happened.  Part of her studies involve how tissue decays and the microbes involved in the process of breaking it all down. Because Chestnut trees have tannin, which makes them rot resistant, they absorb moisture.

That property is what prevented microbes from beginning the decaying process so the dog didn’t break down and instead became mummified. Another major contributing factor was that the tree trunk blocked other animals from both smelling and reaching the dog.  Since it was hollow, any scent the dog gave off would have travelled up the tree like smoke where it’d be blown away by the wind.

The biggest question yet remained, how the dog ended up in the tree trunk in the first place.  Since it appears to have been a 4 year old hunting dog, experts theorized that it likely chased an animal, such as a raccoon or squirrel, into the tree sometime around 1960.  After somehow managing to climb up about 28 feet the dog then got stuck and after that it probably starved to death.

The dog in the tree has always been the main attraction at the forestry museum, people are fascinated by the story.  For years it was simply given the name “mummified dog” but in 2002 the forestry museum held a naming contest for it. They ended up choosing the name “Stuckie” in homage to the poor hound’s sad fate.

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