Saturday, March 30, 2013

California hoax

yesterday we visited sequoia national park in the sierra nevada mountains, where we looked at giant trees. here you can see part of such tree, with me next to it, to indicate how huge they are... ;)
these trees are around  50–85 m (160–279 ft) in height and 6–8 m (20–26 ft) in diameter. and the largest trees have been measured to be 94.8 m (311 ft) in height and over 17 m (56 ft) in diameter!! and they can be as old as 3500 years! its just so weird to imagine that they are standing there that long... having survived forest fires and whatnot... many trees actually have burn marks from fires that occur every now and then and in fact are necessary for new trees to grow. the cones of the tree need the extreme heat to open and release the seeds, and fire also clears the ground of debris and other plants etc that compete for growth!! so... years ago fires were always put out, until researchers discovered that it inhibited growth of new trees... now they let fires roam, and sometimes even set fires intentionally to restore natural growth...
the other funny thing i learned was even though a tree was cut down, chopped into pieces and reassembled at the 1893 world fair in chicago, some visitors did not believe those trees really existed! they called it the california hoax... :D