The Mystery Behind Walking Palm Tree

The Walking Palm Tree

Anyone who has observed a Venus FlyTrap knows about some of the amazing creatures present in nature and their survival. Talking about trees, we all know that their work is to provide oxygen and inhale Carbon Dioxide from the environment. They are pretty much stationary living creatures. But there are some unique creatures in the lap of nature that we have not even seen or heard of during all these years. 


This tree is found in the rainforests of Central and South America.This tree can possibly walk from shade to the sunlight by growing its roots in the direction of its travel, and subsequently lifting its older roots in the air to die.. Walking Palm tree reaches a height of 15 to 20 meters and has a diameter of 16 centimeters. 


The roots of the walking palm tree can also regrow to cope up with the changing environment. If a tree falls on the palm, it would regrow its roots and position them towards the walking path leaving the broken roots behind. The significant difference of the movement cannot be seen in one day. 

Walk in search of sunlight


In dense rainforests, trees stand close to each other thus restricting the required amount of sunlight to make photosynthesis. Here, the walking palm has a clever trick. The walking palm moves from one place to another in order to get enough sunlight for photosynthesis. They move at a speed of 2 to 3 centimeters per day, i.e. around 20 meters in a year. On the other hand, some researchers have given the theory that growth of new roots is because the old ones got destroyed when the soil erosion took place. 

Research done on the Walking Palm tree


A lot of scientists and researchers have done research and wrote papers on the Walking Palm Tree miracle and the scientific facts about this story. In the year of 1980, a research paper was published proving the story of a walking palm tree and how it was able to move from one place to another and Peter Vršanský, a paleobiologist from the Slovak Academy of Sciences claimed that he has seen the tree moving with his own eyes. On the other hand, a detailed study was conducted in the year of 2005 where Biologist Gerardo Avalos, director of the Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica disproved this story after a detailed research & analysis. According to him, the walking palm tree is just a myth created by the locals to attract tourists in their town and earn money from them. 

Is the story of Walking Palm Tree true in reality?

According to the study of some researchers, the story of the walking palm tree has been proven true but at the same time it is considered as a myth by many people and scientists. 

If you ask this question to the locals and the rainforest guard, then they will always abide by this story irrespective of the facts and the research done by the scientists. While planning a visit to the central and south america’s rainforest, do see this tree and its interesting story that has been fascinating many people over the years worldwide. In reality, many tourists visit these rain forests only to observe the walking palm tree and how it survives during the extreme weathers in the location. 

Will the story of a walking palm tree remain as a question mark?

Numerous researchers and scientists have done their work and given theories in this domain, but till date every theory cannot be considered 100% accurate and practical. As said earlier, if the trees could move 2 to 3 centimeters a day, someone would have noticed the change within a matter of days. According to the research done by Peter Vršanský, as the soil erosion takes place, new roots grow in the soil and take up the place of the old ones. This in turn causes the old roots to lift in the air. 

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