Previous: how it all ends



View count:2,853
Last sync:2024-06-07 14:30


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "Eating an 11,000 Year Old Fruit." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 7 June 2024,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2024)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2024, June 7). Eating an 11,000 Year Old Fruit [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2024)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "Eating an 11,000 Year Old Fruit.", June 7, 2024, YouTube, 04:41,

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY:">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">h
Good morning, John.

Sometime around 11,400 years ago,  a really messed up fig tree was born. Fig trees are actually pretty weird plants.  They, like, hide their flowers inside of a hard,  pear shaped structure, and those flowers never see the light of day.

But there's a little hole in the fig that a special kind of wasp will crawl through,  and that wasp will then rummage around in the fig, fertilizing the flowers and then laying eggs. The flowers will then turn  into little internal fruits,  which are sweet and have seeds in them. And then animals will eat the  figs and poop out the seeds,  which spreads them around.

But the fig tree in question here was from  sometime before 11,400 years ago, and it was messed up.  The little hole that wasps were supposed to crawl through was too small for the wabsp-- For the waspsps The wasp-- Wa-- Wasps. Too small for /wasps/ to fit in. But also it was able to grow fruits   without being fertilized, so it didn't need the wasps.  But the unfertilized fruit inside of the fig would not have any seeds in it.

It couldn't, because there was no fertilization.  So there was no way for this fig tree to procreate an evolutionary dead end. Except human beings living  nearby found this fig tree,  and presumably were like, oh, my God.  Holy crap. These figures are so good.  They're super sweet.

But also, there's no seeds in them.  Yum, yum. Guys, check this out.  Not that one. This one.  This specific tree is the  only one that's like this.  But there was no way to make more of this extremely special tree because, again, no seeds.

Also, at this point, like, basically no agriculture.  But wait, there's a twist. Figs are weird. In another way,  you could cut a branch off of some trees and plant that branch in the ground,  and it will just, like, keep growing.

Their non root structures can grow roots.  Fig trees are, like, exceptionally good at this. They are not finicky at all.  You can cut off a branch, stick it in the ground, and most of the times, it's gonna grow. And the branch stuck at the ground is, in one way, a clone of that original tree.  So it will have all those same good fruits, but in another way, it's just the same tree.

It's not really a clone at all.  It's just a branch from that first  tree that is continuing to grow. Now, we know all this because we found a bunch of dried figs at an 11,400  year old archaeological site  in the Jordan river valley. And the figs mostly contained seedless fruit that did not have any wasp parts in them.

And also, we find other similar  figs at other later sites,  indicating that this one tree was spread  across the Jordan Valley from  place to place by people. This makes this a compelling case that this fig tree was  the very first domesticated plant on earth. But it gets weirder.

There's a chance, were not sure,  but there's a chance that these cuttings taken by neolithic farmers of this  one fig tree that randomly  grew fruit without getting  a bunch of insect parts involved, has been cut and propagated and  cut and propagated thousands or millions of times over the last 11,400 years. And that people today are  still eating figs that are,  in a very real way from that same tree. Each cutting stuck into the ground is just a branch of a branch of that first tree  that grew over 11,000 years ago.

I'm not speaking in a metaphorical way. It's the same tree, and we are still eating  the same fruits from the same tree as the first farmers in human history. A weird tree happened,  and it was a genetic dead end, but people liked the fruit.

And so instead of being a genetic dead end, that tree is still alive 11,400 years later. So far, we can't be sure which fig it is.  Is it this one? I don't know.  It's delicious.

I love figs, man.  It's not this one because one has seeds. So that was a little bit of a bummer.  Oh, my God. Figs are so good.  We should eat figs more.

We're supposed to be good for you. That's delicious. I am on a mission, though.

I will spend the rest   of my life doing everything I can to eat every seedless fig I could get my hands on  in the hopes that I will have eaten from the same tree as the earth's first farmers. If you'll have been asking  me why we featured a fig  on the reverse side of this  year's Crash Course Coin,  John, that's why. To think that   there is this unbroken chain and that we today still enjoy  the same sweet fruits that they did then it means something really big to me.

Today is the very last day that you can get the Crash Course Coin. We want to keep helping  people understand their world,  and you can be a part of it. Each of these coins will allow us to reach 2,000, 10,000, or 20,000 learners.

These beautiful coins will never  be available again after today.  So if you're seeing this, and it's not Friday anymore, it's too late. So get moving. Now Crash Course   exists because the people who can pay, so the people who can't don't have to.

And if you can pay,  you will be one of the reasons we can continue making Crash Course.  And also we will send you  one of these beautiful coins.  But today is literally your last chance. John. I'll see you on Tuesday.