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Photos: Tallest Tree in the Tropics (Probably)

When you peer up the trunk of the yellow meranti, thought to be the tallest tree in the tropics, the topmost branches appear very, very far away.
(Image: © Stephanie Law)

Strong foundation

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(Image credit: Stephanie Law)

This yellow meranti tree (its base shown here) was recently discovered in Malaysia and thought to be the tallest tree in the tropics.

Read the full story about how scientists found this giant tree

Measuring a giant

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(Image credit: Stephanie Law)

Unding Jami, a research assistant with the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project and an expert tree climber, works with a team on the ground to confirm the height of the massive yellow meranti tree.

Reaching for the sky

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(Image credit: Boris Bongalov)

The topmost branches of the tree stretch up to the sky. The enormous yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana) extends 293.6 feet (89.5 meters) above the forest floor.

Modern tech finds ancient growth

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(Image credit: Michele Dalponte)

Researchers detected the unusually tall tree using lidar, a scanning system that combines light and radar to visualize land features in 3D.

Read the full story about how scientists found this giant tree

In preparation for a climb

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(Image credit: Stephanie Law)

Members of the conservation team prepare to climb the gargantuan tree to document its height. The group investigating the region's biodiversity included scientists from the University of Cambridge working together with the Sabah Forestry Department.

Jaw-dropping perspective

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(Image credit: University of Cambridge)

In a still from a computer animation created by the University of Cambridge, the yellow meranti tree's height is compared to that of the U.K.'s "Big Ben."

Imaging from above

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(Image credit: University of Cambridge)

The scientists scanned the forest from a helicopter flying overhead, using lidar data to reconstruct the shapes of the trees below in 3D.

Record-setting Minecraft tree

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(Image credit: Stephanie Law)

This record-setting tree is a popular species in the video game Minecraft, where it can be spawned as a "Yellow Meranti" sapling. In the real world, the yellow meranti is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN.)

Read the full story about how scientists found this giant tree