The Largest Tree Canopy On Earth Is So Huge It Spreads Across Five Acres
2 Deeply rooted in religious significance of the land
Thimmamma Marrimanu is still growing and is situated between two mountains on an agricultural field. It looks like a forest in itself and though damaged by cyclones, it is still standing strong and more than 550 years old. The tree was first revealed to the world by Sathyanarayana Iyer, a freelance journalist and photographer from Bangalore, India.
The great banyan is the national tree of India and associated with the religious and mystical philosophy of Hinduism. As such, it is considered holy and can never be cut down. At the core of Thimmamma Marrimanu is a temple where devotes worship every day. As per religious beliefs, the tree is worshipped by childless couples who are blessed with fertility but curses those breaking its leaves and branches.
3 20,000 people can stand under its canopy
The tree is maintained by the local forest department and watered by underground pipes. Young prop roots are guided to grow into bamboo poles filled with manure and soil which helps the tree’s radius to grow 6 inches per year. Thimmamma Marrimanu is home to monkeys, hundreds of flying foxes, parrots, doves and beehives.
According to villagers, 20,000 people can easily stand beneath its canopy which encompasses the entire area like a circus tent. The tree contains 4000 prop roots which curl, entwine, twist and writhe over each other like multiple personalities.
4 Biological coexistence between species has helped the tree to survive
The most unique aspect of Thimmamma Marrimanu is the presence of wasps that inhabit figs in the clusters of 800 species of fig trees that grow in the surrounding areas. Wasps inhabit the figs laying larvae inside which again form new wasps that mate and then crawl out contributing to the pollination process. If it weren’t for this mutual co existence, the banyan too might have died long ago.
Fig wasps are the predominant insect life in the area where one main species exists in every one of the 800 odd fig species in the area. Without each other they would not survive. The fig wasp can travel far distances pollinating tree to tree. The process is termed co evolution by biologists.
Nature’s finest example of the peaceful coexistence of living things
As the world’s largest tree canopy, Thimmamma Marrimanu is an excellent example of how organisms coexist peacefully and help each to survive. Man animal tree and insects all live in harmony bound by a respect for one another.
Perhaps that’s what makes this tree so special and a reflection of what our planet is really all about. Peaceful coexistence.