You wander the Moroccan desert lost, dehydration and the scorching sun draining the life from your body more and more with each passing moment.
An oasis appears. A pool of water at the base of a lush tree promise relief from the heat and hope that you may yet find your way home.
You run towards the oasis but then stop suddenly. Did that tree just bleat at me?
You rub your eyes and, as the illusion evaporates into the unforgiving sun, you realize: that tree isn’t covered in foliage, it’s covered in goats. And that pool of water? That’s goats too.
You murmur to yourself: What the $!&#.
The argan tree is a drought-resistant tree endemic to the semi-desert region of southern Morocco known as Sous valley. The fruit of the argan tree is primarily used to create argan oil, which can be used for in cooking or as a cosmetic product.
The argan tree is also frequently assaulted by hungry goats, who will climb the tree and strip it bear of leaves and fruit.
The goats are said to have learned how to climb trees out of necessity to survive in this harsh, infertile land. They certainly look like they know what they’re doing, as they appear to move as they please between the branches wand whimsically supporting themselves on even the smallest space.
It’s almost as if the tree is producing goat-shaped fruit and naturally, this bizarre scene has become something of a tourist attraction in southern Morocco.
Unfortunately, the argan tree has been on the verge of extinction for years due to being cut down for firewood and overgrazing. The Moroccan government has been working to educate the local community about the importance of the tree and social ventures have even stepped in to help faciliatate the sustainable production of argan oil and make it available for purchase overseas, thereby supporting the local economy.
The real lesson we must take away from all of this is that while a bunch of goats in a tree may look hilarious, it carries serious environmental implications and this is exactly why we can’t have nice things.
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