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A new king of the forest

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Photo of “Stratosphere Giant” by James Balog


Down here. Down here.

With a nickname like “Stratosphere Giant” and a height of 369 feet, one would think a tree could hold onto the title of world’s tallest for quite some time. But the Giant – its name for short, of course – has relinquished the title to the newly discovered “Hyperion.” Found in the Redwood National Park by two hikers, Hyperion stands 379 feet 4 inches tall, trumps the Giant and takes the crown.

The precise measurements were logged after a team of scientists, led by Humboldt State University ecologist Steve Sillett, climbed to the top of the tree and dropped a tape measure all the way down to the ground.

As someone who maxes out at 60 inches tall, I couldn’t fathom that height. Wondering how high 379 feet really is, too? You can watch the climb.

While the news is exciting, the fight for the title is sure to continue. In fact, scientists say while Hyperion might be the tallest tree, it’s not the biggest. Nalini Nadkarnia, a professor at Evergreen State College, told National Public Radio that Del Norte Titan holds that name.

“its mass is equivalent to 15 adult blue whales, the largest animal on earth. Each year, this tree produces enough new wood to make a 90-foot-tall tree with a trunk 12 inches in diameter. If all of Del Norte Titan were cut into boards one foot wide, 12 feet long and one inch thick, the line of planks laid end to end would stretch over a hundred miles and could build 120 average-sized houses.”



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April 18th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

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