Only recently, an 89.5 meter (293.6 feet) tall tree was discovered in Malaysia. It’s a yellow meranti tree growing in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area in the northeast part of the island of Borneo. Conservation scientists from England discovered the tree while flying over the remote region. This region is also referred to as “Sabah’s Lost World” because it has so far remained untouched by logging companies. While measuring its exact height is difficult, it is thought to be the tallest tree in the Tropics.
The yellow meranti is a tree that Minecraft fans are familiar with because it’s one of the species of tree that players can grow while playing the game. As real-life researchers flew over the area they used a LiDAR scanner to create 3D images of the forest canopy as part of their biodiversity mapping project, and naturally the 89.5 meter tall tree stood out.
Because giant trees are essential to sustain a healthy forest ecology, conservation is imperative. The area has faced decades of forest loss and the Sabah government has now decided to begin a concentrated restoration and conservation program.
Meranti trees are well known for their awesome heights, but they don’t even come close to the heights reached by the towering redwoods that grow in Redwood National and State Park, California. All of the top ten tallest trees in the world are in California, and four of the five tallest trees in the world are redwoods. The tallest of these titans is called Hyperion. It measures 115.61 meters (379.3 feet) tall and is between 700 and 800 years old. That's about as awe-inspiring as it gets.