Black River

In a sweet tea-colored swamp in Bladen County, North Carolina there is a group of trees that has intrigued researchers for decades.

Scientists knew the bald cypress trees that sprouted up from the Black River were old, and a new study reveals a number of the trees date back millennia. One tree is at least 2,624 years old.

The bald cypress' remarkable age reveal information about climate history in the region, including whether the people who lived in the area experienced significant droughts.

Black River
Will Michaels / WUNC

A swamp on the Black River near the town of Ivanhoe, North Carolina has been a long-running fascination for researchers.

Decades ago, they identified dozens of bald cypress they believed were part of an ancient forest, but until now, they weren't sure how long these trees had been living in this remote corner of Bladen County. A recently published research paper has revealed the trees to be among the oldest in the world.