The ancient ruins of Baiae, near the modern city of Bacoli, in Italy are home to a botanical oddity: a little tree that literally defies physics.
The modern city of Bacoli, in the Metropolitan City of Naples in the Italian region Campania, holds the ruins of Baia.
It was once a playground for the super-rich of Rome, the emperors and their ilk.
Julius Caesar had a villa there, and also Emperors Nero and Caligula.
Now the ancient resort town is a venerated archaeological site, but no one actually told the defiant upside-down fig tree that grows from the crumbling brick of an ancient building.
The tree sprouts from the ceiling of the arch it grows inside, which was allegedly part of the Emperor Nero’s private villa.
No one is quite sure how the tree ended up there or how it survived, but year after year it continues to grow downwards and bear its fruits.
It is literally inverted, growing toward the ground, which is quite rare.
The common fig tree (Ficus carica) was one of the first plants ever cultivated by humans, with fig fossils having been found in the Jordan Valley dating back to 9400 BC. So it is rather fitting for this particular gravity-defying tree to be located in the ancient Roman town of Baiae.
Fig trees usually prefer dry and sunny places, but their strong roots and the ability to thrive on little water allow the plant to support itself in inhospitable places, and the upside-down tree is proof of that.
Either way, Baiae is now an archaeological park that attracts tourists from all over the world and, in recent years, the upside-down fig tree has become one of the site’s biggest attractions.
After all, it’s proof that nature always finds a way.
Images from web – Google Research