<< "Snake!" The Tree Stumps Chirp >>

The Tree Stumps is one of the periods of the xkcd comic Time, within the Mountain Era. It lasted from frame 1766 to frame 1825.


This period begins as Megan and Cueball continue their journey into or towards the mountains after their encounter with the snake. They continue along and increasingly higher terrain, for a while at a fairly consistent slope. At frame 1791 the slope begins to even out and they reach a plateau. Megan, who has been glancing back periodically throughout the ascent, turns all the way back at this point and tells Cueball, "I think I can almost see the sea from here." Cueball responds, "I don't know. It's hard to tell what's land and what's sky." Megan says, "yeah" and they continue on, Megan still occasionally glancing back.


Megan and Cue walk through the stumps.

At frame 1811 they enter a scene segment with what appears to be a large saw-cut tree stump at the far right. They do not comment on it, but Megan does look back at it. The next scene segment appears to have 4 more stumps, one only slightly smaller than the previous one, and 3 which are quite smaller. The furthest left (one of the smallest) appears to have a new branch or perhaps young tree or other plant growing out of it. Megan comments that it "cooler up here." The next scene includes one medium-width but particularly short stump. It is in this scene segment that they first mention hearing the chirps, marking the beginning of the next period.

Thread Discussion regarding the StumpsEdit

General consensus holds that the mounds found during this period are in fact tree stumps, though some posters on the One True Thread posited several types of termite mounds they thought that the mounds might resemble, primarily types with various mounds that might support either the Africa theory or the Madagascar Theory. The final stump, however, as well as the clear appearance of deliberate cutting marks in several of them caused the stump theory to prevail in the end. It is notable that Cuegan do not comment on the stumps as they pass them, as they have to this point typically always commented on new unique things they've seen on the journey, and especially those which suggest other inhabitants, as this deliberately deforested area suggests.

Some discussion also arose as to what kinds of tools were used to fell the trees. The first stump has the most distinct look by which to infer the type of tools used, and seems to look like the result of the use of some sort of saw.

Molpy sightings during this periodEdit

A beesnake appears in frame 1792 while Cuegan are looking back towards the sea. It flitters from one bush to another before disappearing behind the second bush in 1796. It reemerges in 1801 as Cuegan walk by that bush, then flies in several circles, observed by Megan, before disappearing in the bush again in 1805.

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