Amazon’s tallest tree puzzles scientists

A team of British and Brazilian scientists published an article claiming to have found the tallest tree in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon rainforest. And the giant plant is surrounded by other huge trees, about 80 meters high.

The researchers traveled 220 kilometers by boat and walked 10 kilometers deep into the woods until they found an 88-meter specimen of the species Dinizia excelsa, also known as Angelim Vermelho, within a state-run sustainable conservation unit – Parú State Forest in Pará.

For comparison, the Statue of Liberty in New York is 93 meters high, including the base. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro measures 38 meters from the base to the top of the head. Therefore the tree found in the Amazon is slightly smaller than the main symbol of NY and much larger than the most famous statue in Brazil.

Scientists cannot explain clearly how these trees could reach more than 80 meters, but they say it is possible that the height is related to the great distance from urban areas and industrial zones. It may also be linked to the fact that these trees are a “pioneer species”, the first to inhabit a region after it has been devastated.