12. Hidden Oil Rig
The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the massive Tree of Life, which can be found on Discovery Island and features thousands of vibrant green leaves that sway gently in the breeze. The impressive trunk of the Tree of Life is carved with hundreds of intricate animals which seem to come to life, thanks to their amazing detail.
While the Tree of Life may seem like a real tree, it was crafted by Disney for the park and many guests may be surprised to learn what supports the structure from within. When building Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Imagineers were having trouble figuring out a system to support the massive icon while also leaving space in the roots for the theater that houses It’s Tough to be A Bug. The answer came in an old oil rig that was recycled to provide the perfect support for the Tree of Life. It stands 145 feet tall, and at the base it is 50 feet wide. There are over 8,000 branches in various sizes, and over 102,000 man-made leaves. Each leaf is over a foot long.