This yellow meranti tree (its base shown here) was recently discovered in Malaysia and thought to be the tallest tree in the tropics.
Measuring a giant
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
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
Researchers detected the unusually tall tree using lidar, a scanning system that combines light and radar to visualize land features in 3D.
In preparation for a climb
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.
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
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
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.)