Gen 2: 5,6: Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Jahweh God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground...

Gen 2:10: And a river went out of Eden to water the garden

The other side

Ad054 jungle-scene-03-1024

Professor Challenger, his friend Lord Roxton and their "devoted negro" Zambo had crossed the lake to the other side. They walked cautiously through this strange forest the covered this land.

"Not quite how we left it behind, hey Roxton?" Zambo asked the traveller. Roxton nodded. He had visited this land before, years ago. It was when he wanted to cross the Saharan desert that he set foot on this land.

And this was what he remembered:


Roxton's memories

This place was a dry wasteland. It was dry desert, with some wells now and then. It wasn't anything like this.

There were (almost) no shrubs... no plants... no water.


The size of the old lake is marked. The Lake's 2004 size is marked blue

Professor Challenger looked amazed at the Lake. This was the Chad Basin, in prehistoric times a large lake covered this basin. This lake was surrounded by the high mountains of the Ennedi, Tibesti, Air and Jos. From the ice on these mountains rivers fed the lake. Large Jungles covered its shores and it was home to numerous forms of wildlife.

But after the Ice Age was over... the temperature rose, the ice caps on the mountains melted... and in the end they disappeared. After that the large lake, the source of all life in the Basin, becan to shrink. And after that the Jungles and its wildlife disappeared. Once there lived large crocodiles in the rivers on the Ennedi Plateau, but the water disappeared and all life became extinct.

Roxton wanted to go on. "Challenger! We must continue to the ruin now, plz check out the flora while we walk." The three men continued, Roxton was leading the group to the place that was marked on his GPS. Challenger looked at the trees and shrubs of the forest. "And Challenger," asked Roxton, "what can you tell me?"


"The detritus, forest floor, is covered by ferns..."

Cyathea arborea

"There are a lot of Cyatheales..." "What?" Roxton asked. "Tree ferns, the forest is full of it. Look at that one, I think that is a Cyathea arborea."

Then they reached another Tree fern. Challenger became a bit pale when he recognised its species. "Do not touch that one, it is dangerous!" Zambo and Roxton looked at the fern, "what is it?" "It is Serenna veriformans. It comes from the wetlands of Brazil and Columbia. The spores of this plant contains a toxic substance beta-carboline (alkaloid) that makes its fronds irritating to the skin and potentially deadly when eaten. The toxin was 50 times more poisonous than Oleander!"

Roxton asked, "from Brasil?" "Yes, this species is only common in Brasil and Columbia." "Then what is it doing here, one should think."

"And to make things more confusing, do you see this pine tree..."

Wollemi pine tips

Wollemi pine

Wollemi pine planfor03

"What about it?" "This is a Wollemi Pine, it is from Australia," Challenger said.

"This forest is as synthetic as possible. Why would anyone want a forest with all these plants from all over planet together?"

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