World Headed For Disastrous Frankincense Shortage

If you have dreams of recreating the actual gifts of the Magi at Christmas, you may have to put them on hold — supplies of frankincense are falling fast. The stuff is made from the sap of the Boswellia tree, and nobody's planting those lately, probably because frankincense is not so hip anymore. Says Frans Bongers, who led a study on the coming frankincense crisis, "It's human factors that are the problem. Alternative land uses bring in more money than frankincense and there are no new trees coming into the system. Large areas would have to be set aside to allow the trees to grow back." Also, Christmas-hating beetles have a habit of eating young trees, hampering efforts to replant. In 50 years, 90% of the world's frankincense could be gone. Myrrh appears okay for now, though still incredibly hard to spell.

Image via Santje09/Shutterstock.com