Petrified tree in Tak certified as Guinness World Record largest

PHOTO: Guinness Record Petrified tree in Tak. (via ResearchGate)

Ah, Thailand: famous for its tropical beaches, delicious food, wild nightlife, and… giant wood? Thailand recently gained a Guinness World Record after unearthing the longest petrified tree trunk log ever found anywhere in the world.

The world record was verified on Friday in Tak, a Northern province of Thailand lying on the Burmese border. The gigantic fossilised log was measured to be about 70 metres meaning it would have stood as large as a 20-storey building. And ancient, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment estimates the petrified wood to be about 120,000 years old.

The tree was originally discovered in 2003 in Doi Soi Malai National Park in the Ban Tak district of the lower Northern province. At the time it was measured to be 72.22 metres long, but even a 120,000-year-old tree can’t last forever, and a flood through the excavation site managed to break the tip of the log and wash it away, reducing the official length to 69.7 metres.

The wood appears to be of a species still common in local rainforests, the Thong Bueng tree.

By comparison, the tallest living try in the world is believed to be the Hyperion, a giant sequoia in California’s Redwood National Park. It stands at nearly 116 meters tall, about 65% taller than the now world-record-holding petrified tree certified in Tak on Friday.

Still, the petrified log is taller than the largest known tree in Thailand, which is officially recorded at 64.2 meters and located near Ao Kian beach in Ko Yao Noi, Phang Nga province. The official second tallest tree is by Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi at 49.3 metres, though Giant Tree, a famous landmark on the island of Koh Pha Ngan is said to be 53.5 metres tall.

While 120 millennia is very old, the oldest known petrified wood can be found in the Catskill Mountains of New York in the US, where the Gilboa fossil forest has been estimated to be 385 million years old.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Northern Thailand News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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