Tgees walking. Trees can walk up to 2 meters per year

Socratea Exorrhiza, a plant that grows in remote areas of Ecuador, is said to be able to walk – yup, just like Ant-Man in Lord of the Rings. Okay, these leaf giants might not be able to fight the mists of Isengard, but they certainly have something in common with their fictional counterparts, other than size.

Their complex root systems called legs help them continuously move toward sunlight as the seasons change.

Apparently, these walking trees seem to be able to move pegs up to 2-3 cm per day or 20 meters per year. It might not sound like much, but it’s a marathon by three standards.


The mysterious trees remind visitors of Tolkien’s creations. Image source: Peter Vrsansky Guides to Ecuador’s rainforests have long told tourists about the amazing walking trees.

The most common story is that the tree slowly “walks” in search of the sun, sending new roots toward the light, while old roots die.


John H. Bodley proposed in 1980 that its tense root system is what allows the palm tree to “walk” away from its germination point. Whether this is true or not, the tree’s unusual roots, branching from the trunk several feet above the ground, certainly add to the illusion that the tree has legs.

“When soil erodes, plants grow elongated, new roots in search of new, hard soil,” explains Peter Vrsansky, a paleontologist with the Slovak Academy of Sciences who spent several months at UNESCO Sumaco. more cable. Moreover, sometimes it is up to 20 m long. Biosphere. Reserve, about a day’s journey from Ecuador’s capital Quito.


“Then, slowly, as the roots take hold in the new soil and the tree patiently bends toward the new roots, the old roots slowly rise into the air. The entire process of moving the tree to a new location with better sunlight and firmer soil can take several years.”

According to some scientists, it is the tree’s wobbly roots that help it “walk”. However, other scientists have a different opinion. According to a 2005 article by biologist Gerardo Avalos, director of the Center for Sustainable Development Research in Atenas, Costa Rica, although Socratea Exorrhiza plants occasionally sprout new roots, they are still planted in one place. . Just because they grow new roots doesn’t mean they use them to move.

“My work proves that the belief in walking palm trees is just a myth,” Avalos told Live Science. “The idea that a palm tree can actually track changes in canopy light by moving slowly across the forest floor… is a myth that tour guides find interesting to tell visitors in the rainforest.”

But why the confusion? Ultimately, it all seems to come from that single root system. The Ecuadorian ‘walking’ tree has a higher root system than other trees, starting at the base of the trunk.

This makes the tree look more like a straight broom than a real tree. And as the soil around them rots, some of those odd-looking roots die, making way for new roots to form.

Due to its unique root system, Socratea Exorrhiza looks like an upright walking broom. Image source: Ruestz So, after all, perhaps it is the strange appearance of these trees that keeps tour guides buzzing with stories of their hikes, to add to the flavor for their sermons.

This conclusion is further emphasized by the fact that if you do a quick search, you won’t find any time-lapse videos of either of these trees actually ‘walking’. (However, if you find one, don’t hesitate to let us know.)

However, there are other plants, if not trees, that can actually move from place to place. Devil’s climbing cactus, for exams

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