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The tallest tropical tree in the world is longer than a football field



The tallest tropical tree in the world ever seen is a giant that measures a staggering 330 feet (100.8 m) from the ground to the sky – a height that's more than five bowling lanes, one of which End to end are stacked.

This tree, probably the world's tallest flowering plant, lives in a rainforest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, according to scientists from the United Kingdom and Malaysia. It is so far-reaching that it is no wonder that the scientists called it "Menara", the Malay word for "tower".

For those who do not personally make it to Malaysian Borneo, researchers have created a 3D model of the tree that people can turn and turn online. [Nature̵

7;s Giants: Photos of the Tallest Trees on Earth]

Menara's LiDAR + UAV Model by Alexander Shenkin on Sketchfab

By studying Menara, researchers hope to understand how trees grow so large and whether factors prevent them from getting bigger.

Menara belongs to a tropical tree species known as Yellow Meranti ( Shorea faguetiana ). It belongs to the family of Dipterocarpaceae, which thrive in the humid lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia. Earlier record holders for the tallest tropical tree came from this region and from the genus Shorea .

The team came across Menara's laser technology, known as light detection and rangefinding (Lidar). Essentially, an aircraft flew overhead with a lidar device while laser pulses were fired and then reflected as they struck the forest sky and the ground, providing data for a topological map.

After reviewing the data, the researchers came to her see Menara in August 2018. There they scanned the tree with a terrestrial laser to create high-resolution 3D images, and snapped images from above with a drone. Local climber Unding Jami of the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership scaled the tree in January 2019 to measure its exact height with a tape measure.

"It was a scary climb, so windy because the nearest trees are very strong off," Jami said in a statement. "But honestly, the view from the top was amazing, I do not know what to say unless it was very, very, very amazing!"

Jami's performance shows that Menara is probably the tallest flowering plant in the world. because it is higher than the previous record holder; an eucalyptus tree in Eucalyptus regnans in Tasmania is 996 m (326 feet) tall.

Without counting his roots, Menara weighs almost 179,700 pounds. (81,500 kilograms). But only 5% of the mass comes from the 40m long crown. The other 95% are in their trunk, the researchers found. In addition, the stem is extremely straight and the center of gravity is 28 m above the ground, which is only 0.6 m from the vertical central axis. This indicates that the tree is highly symmetric and balanced, even though it sits on a slope, the researchers said.

Menara is susceptible to wind damage, but so far it has been spared thanks to its tree The sheltered location in a valley, the researchers said.

Despite the immense height of the tree, he faces an uphill battle: Several factors can prevent trees like Menara from getting bigger, such as the challenge of the tree carrying water to the highest branches. And though there may be larger tropical trees out there, they're probably not too much bigger than Menara.

"Given the evidence we have found on the mechanical limitations of the wind, it is unlikely that there will be a new tree much larger," said Yadvinder Malhi, professor of ecosystem sciences at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, in the explanation.

Originally published on Live Science .


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