Sunday, 17 September 2017

Scientific evidence for the existence of Ents

One thing I have learnt is that if you have a database large enough and a knowledge of that database that's extensive enough, that it’s possible to come up with some pretty peculiar findings which are seemingly backed up by hard data.

An Ent, yesterday

A few years ago I was a volunteer at the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre, and after a few months I became pretty familiar with the extensive database they have and the sort of information it included.

One day it occurred to me that if you look for veteran trees (ie, over a hundred years old) whose location data had changed, then that would be evidence for Ents, the tree-people from Lord Of The Rings.

Bringing up the data for veteran trees was easy enough, but I found I had to go through the spreadsheet myself to find an occasion where the location data had changed.

I found plenty of examples of trees with vague location data, but I also found three occasions where the previous data didn’t match aerial photography. I decided those were the best case for the existence of Ents, so I extracted the data, popped them on a map, and here they are!

I showed it to my manager at the time, and he said it was interesting that they seemed to be guarding the border.

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