Fact Check

Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World's Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest

Did illegal loggers in the Amazon rainforest cut down the world's oldest tree?

Published Dec 10, 2014

Claim:   Illegal loggers in the Amazon rainforest accidentally cut down the world's oldest tree.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, December 2014]

I just read an article that illegal loggers just cut down the world's oldest tree located in the rain forest on the Brazil border


Origins:   On 6 December 2014, World News Daily Report published an article titled "Loggers Accidentally Cut Down World's Oldest Tree in Amazon Forest." In that article, the site claimed "illegal loggers" had mistakenly destroyed the oldest living tree on Earth:

Illegal loggers at the frontier of the Peruvian and Brazilian border have mistakenly cut down what experts claim is the world's oldest tree after allegedly not noticing they were logging deeply in Matses Indigenous Reserve, an area were logging is illegal, infuriating local conservation organizations and native indigenous communities.

The giant Samauma tree that is thought to be over 5,800 years old judging on its concentric rings and estimated to be close to 40 meters in height was a major part of the native tribes cultural landscape, countless generations of natives having witnessed the long duration of the tree and having included it in their own culture.

The article was widely shared on social media sites and caused a good deal of anger among environmentally-minded readers. Luckily for them, World News Daily Report is one of a number fake news outlets, known for spreading fictional but marginally believable articles to be shared via Facebook and Twitter.

World News Daily Report's disclaimer page states:

World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

In addition to the "world's oldest tree" yarn, World News Daily Report's repertoire of hoax articles includes "Elderly Woman Vanishes During Magic Show" and "Homeless Man Sexually Assaulted by Top Models in Limousine." Additionally, there isn't a single identifiable "world's oldest tree" as such, and the majority of trees that are contenders for the title are located in North America and not the Amazon.

Last updated:   10 December 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.