The Walking Tree, Truth or Myth
For decades, tour guides have been explaining to tourists that in order for these trees to live, they must continuously sprout new roots and very slowly shift. Is it even possible for trees to move independently?
The Socratea exorrhiza species
Cashapona is another name for the Socratea exorrhiza palm, which is commonly known as the Walking Palm. It belongs to the same family as palm trees and even has the same type of leaf. The rainforests of Central and South America’s tropical regions are home to this type of palm.
It has the potential to reach a height of roughly 25 meters and has a stem that is up to 16 centimeters in diameter.
The roots of this tree are elevated on stilts, so they can be seen from a great distance. This is one of the most interesting aspects of the tree. The palm is pollinated by beetles, and a diverse range of animals consume the seeds of the palm.
Socrateaa exorrhiza is a tall palm tree than can reach a height of up to 82 feet. Its trunk is thin and coated in coarse, dark-brown bark. This tree’s leaves are pinnate, which means they are separated into many tiny leaflets that are positioned on either side of a central stalk.
The glossy, green leaves can reach a maximum length of three 10 feet. The tree also bears clusters of tiny, yellow flowers that develop into round, black fruit.
Ability to Walk
The mobility of Socrateaa exorrhiza is one of its intriguing features. This tree can move slowly yet significantly—up to 2-3 cm (0.79-1.18 inches) per day. The tree’s unique roots, which protrude at an angle from the trunk into the ground, are what move the tree. In addition to offering stability and support, the roots allow the tree to expand toward more favorable environments, such increased sunshine or improved soil. The tree begins to “walk” in a different direction as new roots grow in their place while the old ones eventually die off.
Socrateaa exorrhiza is a species of great importance to the rainforest ecology. Because it can move, it can adjust to shifting environmental factors like shifting soil or light levels. This in turn gives a range of creatures a stable environment, which contributes to the preservation of biodiversity.
The large leaves on the tree offer shade and shelter to a variety of creatures, such as insects, birds, and monkeys. Many animals, including birds, rodents, and bats, rely on the fruits of the tree as a major source of food.
Socrateaa exorrhiza has long been a significant herb in conventional medicine. Many illnesses, such as fever, malaria, and snake bites, have been treated with the tree’s bark.
The tree is revered in certain cultures, and considered sacred. Many people have been captivated by the tree’s capacity to walk, and it has come to represent adaptability and resiliency.
Dangers and Preservation
Like many other rainforest species, is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. The habitat of trees is growing less due to human activities such as agriculture and logging, which is also destroying rainforest ecosystems. This is limiting the trees’ capacity to shift and adapt.
Efforts are underway to conserve this species, including the creation of protected areas and the promotion of sustainable land use practices. Additionally, the walking ability of the tree has made it a popular ornamental plant, and it is now being grown in gardens and parks around the world.
Walking to survive
What precisely are these rumored “walking trees” claimed to be able to accomplish, then? It appears that the Socratea exorrhiza may travel up to 2 to 3 centimeters each day,
It would appear that the tree would make its way towards sunshine and areas of stable soil in its quest to find the most nutrient-rich location in the forest. To remain alive, trees need access to sunshine and water, in addition to the abundant nutrients found in the surrounding soil.
The changing of the seasons and the shifting of the vegetation in the thick jungle will cause these trees to congregate in regions where there is a gap in the canopy of the surrounding trees. It is also believed that the tree moves in response to other trees falling on top of it in order to right itself and stand upright again.
The Hypothesis Under Analysis
In spite of the fact that the concept of Ecuador’s walking trees is rather astounding, many scientists have attempted to disprove this hypothesis. In 2012, an article published by Live Science asserted that the narrative of the walking palm tree simply isn’t real.
Gerardo Avalos, who oversees the Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Costa Rica, is in agreement with this viewpoint.
Where does the myth come from?
It all starts from the bottom! It would suggest that the origin of the tale is in the peculiar appearance of these trees, which make them look as if they were plucked straight from the pages of a fantasy novel.
It is hard to believe that a tree might genuinely move in response to light from the canopy above it.
But, the sight of the tree’s above-ground roots appears to have stoked the fire of the tour guide’s imagination. And we are obligated to acknowledge that the concept of a walking tree is quite intriguing to us.
Even if a great number of experts in the field have debunked the hypothesis, we’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not they wish to believe in these gigantic walking palm palms.