Some loggers showed up to work on an ordinary working day. However, the day suddenly turned into a fantastic adventure and ended in one of the most intriguing discoveries, which made them fall in love with their job all over again. So what happened to them?
1. Something Unusual
On a sunny morning in 1980, several loggers left home to work as usual in a nearby forest in Jasper City, Georgia. As usual, they would chop down enough chestnut trees to meet their quota. While they were working tirelessly, one old tree drew their attention and brought their operations to a sudden halt.
2. A Strange Tree
The old tree was remarkably lightweight and had a hollow inside. As usual, the loggers chopped down the hollow tree and were going to cut it into smaller pieces. But oddly, they found no sunlight that should have been passing through the hollow trunk was actually getting through. It meant that either the tree was not hollow, or there was something stuck in between.
3. Trying To Figure It Out
To figure out what was blocking the light from coming through the other side of the hollow tree, the loggers had to overcome a little bit of fear, although they all agreed that it couldn't be anything dangerous. Finally, a brave volunteer bent forward and stuck half of his body inside the trunk to get a closer look. But suddenly, he jumped back out with a shriek and couldn't even describe what he'd just seen.
4. A Beast!?
His colleagues came up and surrounded him with curious faces, while he just stood there and was spellbound by what he'd seen. After calming down, he told others that there was a beast in the hollow trunk! His colleagues were scared by this information but remained doubtful.
5. Same Confusion
Subsequently, other loggers also peeked in for a quick look, but too came out with the same degree of puzzlement. At a glance, the thing stuck in the tree seemed like it was a monster trying to jump out. Some loggers thought it was a ferocious canine, growling and baring its teeth. But, despite the varying descriptions, one thing clear was that there was an animal in the trunk.
6. A Pooch!
To find more about the creature, the loggers took a closer look. They found its paws and a long snout with sharp teeth. These features were visible because the animal had been close to the top of the trunk. Finally, they decided that it was a dog. But how could it be so intact, and how had it entered the tree in the first place?
7. Call The Authorities
To solve these questions, the loggers sent the dog within the trunk to a museum called The Southern Forest World in Waycross, Georgia. This museum features a rich collection of wooden artifacts from colonial America to the modern day. Here, they hoped that the experts would be able to solve the mystery.
8. Keep It Intact
After a year, the scientists finally found the answer. According to the biological anthropologist Kristina Killgrove, the chestnut trees contained desiccant, which absorbed moisture and stopped the microbes from eating away at the canine's body tissue. Also, the tree's tannic acid helped the dog's body last longer by hardening its skin. But how had it hidden the smell of the dead body from scavengers?
9. Hiding The Scent
Since there were no active microbes, there was little smell to lure the scavengers. At the same time, a chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air. This effect caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away. Now, there was only one last problem left unsolved: how had the dog gotten itself in there?
10. The Last Answer
According to the museum's director Bertha, the dog was aged four when it died in 1960. It must have been chasing a raccoon or a squirrel, and entered through a hole, going deep inside the trunk. The dog may even have attempted to dig its way through, but it probably never noticed that the trunk was getting narrower towards the top. Unfortunately, it never came down from the tree.
11. The Center Of The Museum
In Southern Forest World, the dog is still held within the trunk as an artifact for people to look at. It was popular and has occupied a central place here. The museum regards it as an ambassador and uses its image in many promotional materials and postcards. Moreover, people even proceeded to give him a name.
12. Hello Stuckie
To decide the name of this mummified dog, people had a spirited contest where three names, "Stuckie," "Chipper," and "Dogwood" received most of the votes. Finally, it was "Stuckie" that came out as the most popular name. However, once this was decided, some people started to express their dissent about what to do with Stuckie next.
13. Release Stuckie Or Not
There are different opinions on what the museum ought to do with Stuckie. Some people think the poor dog should be given a decent burial instead of remaining on display. Nevertheless, others insist that the dog cannot leave there because it has already become an essential part of the museum to attract more visitors.
14. Keep It In The Trunk
Ever since Stuckie arrived in the museum, it has been one of the main attractions there. The museum has also become famous due to its existence, which is broadening the horizons of all the kids who visit. Hence, the idea of letting Stuckie go has never come up for discussion. But anyway, none of us should forget who first discovered it.
15. Praiseworthy Loggers
Actually, leaving the trunk uncut would have affected the loggers' profit margins, but they all understood that it was too valuable to just chop it down into pieces. It was a wise choice since the mummified dog inside the trunk revealed so much precious information about biology and botany. Through this experience, the loggers found more value in their jobs and fell in love with logging again.