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Natural World

World's tallest tropical tree discovered

November 15, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments

Borneo is home to some of the world's tallest trees. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 T. R. Shankar Raman
A tree measuring a whopping 309ft tall has been identified alongside 49 other runners-up in Borneo.
The record-breaking tree eclipses the previous record of 293.6ft and is so large that it is the equivalent of six sperm whales stacked on top of one another head to tail.

The discovery was made all the more remarkable by the fact that the surrounding forest also contained the next 49 tallest trees - breaking 50 world records all at the same time.

"I've been doing this for a solid 20 years now, and I have to say, this was one of the most moving experiences in my career," said ecologist Gregory Asner of Stanford University. "This tallest tropical tree, and the 49 runners-up, are truly phenomenal expressions of the power of nature."
The trees were identified in Borneo's Danum Valley reserve using the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an aircraft equipped with a laser-based measuring system known as LiDAR.

"The crazy thing is that our tallest tree is immediately flanked to each side by a tree of the same species of Shorea, almost as tall!" said Asner.

"So, there are three trees, like brothers, standing above the rest of the canopy. I almost cried as we circled the tree maybe 10 times before the pilot said we had to go back."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (6)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Unfortunately 6 years ago
That's awesome! Glad to hear there are still some places that have trees such as this, I'd love to see them at some point.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Aten 6 years ago
Sadly 1 month or so from now you'll read 'Tallest tree in the world cut down' kind of inevitable really...sigh
Comment icon #3 Posted by Goodf3llow 6 years ago
No one is cutting down Hyperion...
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
It's interesting that the tree could grow that tall.  In warm weather regions trees don't get a chance to get a large enough circumference to be study enough to grow that tall as the growing season is too long and the trees don't get a long enough cold weather season to mature as northern trees do.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Those are truly amazing. Not taking away from this thread, but I viewed this earlier on somewhere else. Nice to see this here!!
Comment icon #6 Posted by woopypooky 6 years ago
Nearest town is Lahad Datu, i been there before. Its so warm and humid that you feel entire body sticky instead of sweating.

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