Do you know the name of the tallest tree in the world? A negative answer would hardly come as a surprise, as only a handful of people know the exact location of this redwood sempervirus called “Hyperion”.
In 2006, two scientists named Michael Taylor and Chris Atkins devoted a month to hiking in Redwood National and State Park, California. You are facing a juggernaut and do not hesitate to pull out your metric laser. A first estimate gives an unbelievable height of … 100 meters. However, accurately determining the height of a tree requires reaching its top in order to lower a weighted rope to the ground.
Discover the mastodon
Measuring these giant yew trees is a real specialty, including world expert Steve Sillett. The latter measured the six tallest trees in the world and agreed with the discoverers to name this sequoia tree with yew leaves “Hyperion”. This name corresponds to a titan from Greek mythology, who is distinguished by his size.
Almost a decade after its discovery, only a handful of people know its exact location. Even fewer have chosen to climb there to admire California from this elevator of flora.
The properties of Hyperion
To see this formidable giant sequoia, you have to go to California, specifically Reedwood National Park. Discovered in 2006, Hyperion reaches a height of 115.85 meters and a width of 7 meters. At 92.9 meters high, the Statue of Liberty is very small next to this giant. If we compare it to our Eiffel Tower, the Hyperion reaches its second floor at a height of 115 meters.
The Hyperion reaches the same level as the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Photo Credit: ShutterstockWDG Photo / & Wikipedia: National Park Service Digital Image
This mastodon, at least 800 years old, was 116 meters high. But after following an upper branch deformed by the wind, he lost about eight inches. The weight is estimated at 3,300 tons.
Yew sequoia trees are among the tallest trees in the world. For example, Deadalus, next to Hyperion, reaches 110.8 meters in height and Helios measures 114.1 meters.
The secret of Hyperion’s location
Why is the location of this unique plant hidden from the public? To be honest, Hyperion has shallow roots. Its resources are obtained from the water in the layers close to the ground. Too many visitors would place an unfavorable weight on the surrounding country.
The Hyperion tree was discovered in 2006 by two hikers, researcher Chris Atkins and amateur naturalist Michael Taylor. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Stephen Moehle
This could cause the water to move unintentionally and irrigate the roots. Experts also conclude that the water flowing to the peaks of Hyperion through a network of capillary channels limits the law of gravity to a maximum size of 130 meters. This giant is expected to reach this height in about 600 years.
Steve Sillet thinks that when you add the weight of the branches, the leaves of the trunk, and all of the biomass in it, it is certainly the largest tree in the world. To capture it in its entirety, the famous photographer Mike Nichols took this shot in 126 different images.