When a climber bearing a tape measure reached the top of a Yellow Meranti tree in a forest in Malaysia, he didn’t stay for long.
“I don’t have time to take photos using a good camera because there’s an eagle around that keeps trying to attack me and also lots of bees flying around,” the climber, Unding Jami, reported.
But he stayed long enough to measure it, and the tree topped out at around 293 feet, making it the largest in the Tropics, scientists said Wednesday.
Called a Yellow Meranti, the tree is one of several you can build in the popular video game Minecraft. Scientists tracked it by using a plane to scan the forest, known as “Sabah’s Lost World,” in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area.
Using lasers, the scanner mapped the forest, creating a 3D model that was then studied by professors from the University of Cambridge. After they spotted the tree, all that was left to do was for Jami to climb it.
He did, confirming that it was a just a few yards shorter than London’s Big Ben.
“It’s exciting to know that these iconic giants of the forest are alive and well,” David Coomes, a Cambridge professor, said.