A YouTuber has been making viral headlines for publishing a video in which he claims an object he located with the aid of Google Earth might be a gigantic tree stump. MrMBB333, described as a hobby geologist, really just seems like a person interested in the possibility that life is different from how we generally think it is.
However, the passion of an independent researcher doesn’t necessarily mean their findings are correct. It seems slightly improbable that this was a giant, 8 mile long tree stump, but for the sake of examining the possibility that maybe giant trees were once an actual thing, let’s look at what this person has to say.
To be fair, the YouTuber came at the possibility with a decent amount of objectivity. The headline of his video was incredibly successful, and from the beginning of it, he says it is only a possibility, not a confirmed fact.
First, he points out that what appear to be super massive, fossilized leaves are visible on Google Maps surrounding the region of the supposed tree stump. Does this look like a leaf to you?
On the northern side of Central Madagascar, that’s where the man located this interesting place on Google Maps. In this place, he believes multiple gigantic tree stumps and fossilized imprints from leaves can be found.
At :57 into the video, one can see an impressively flat, perfect plateau. Is it shaped like a tree stump? Absolutely. Is there evidence to suggest that it actually once was a tree? Not exactly, but let’s see where this goes.
The YouTuber is using quite sophisticated methods for average researchers to examine the flatness of the plateau. The video is certainly worth a watch, and the topic of a possibility of giant, ancient trees is certainly an interesting one, but unfortunately a topic with very little concrete information available to find on the Internet.
The largest known trees on Earth are of course to be found in California: the Giant Sequoias. Some scientists argue that this tree is the largest living organism on Earth. It is the largest, but not technically the widest, or the longest lived species of tree on the planet.
According to Wikipedia:
“Giant sequoias grow in well-defined groves in California mixed evergreen forests, along with other old-growth species such as California incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens). Because most of the neighboring trees are also quite large, it can be difficult to appreciate the size of an individual giant sequoia. The largest giant sequoias are as tall as a 26-story building, and the width of their bases can exceed that of a city street. They grow at such a rate as to produce roughly 40 cubic feet (1.1 m3) of wood each year, approximately equal to the volume of a 50-foot-tall tree one foot in diameter. This makes them among the fastest growing organisms on Earth, in terms of annual increase in mass.”
If people are interested in learning about some of the massive, strange organisms that are said to have inhabited this planet before us, think about giant mushrooms.
In 2013, an article was published in the Smithsonian talking about how long before the existence of trees on Earth, it is believed that gigantic mushrooms ruled the landscape.
They claim that about 420 to 350 million years ago, the tallest trees must have been only a few feet high. Meanwhile, gigantic mushrooms were probably the dominant species, standing as tall as 24 feet or 8 meters high, and as wide as three feet, or one meter.
In Saudi Arabia, a mysterious fossil was unearthed, and in 2007 the National Geographic reported that it was a giant fungi, thought to come from that period of time. Think about how incredibly old that fossil must have been: hundreds of millions of years old.
According to the Smithsonian:
“Fossils of the organisms, known as Prototaxites, had peppered the paleontological findings of the past century and a half, ever since they were first discovered by a Canadian in 1859. But despite the fossil records, no one could figure out what the heck these giant spires were. That all changed in 2007 when a study came out that concluded the spires were a fungus, like a gigantic early mushroom.”
Thinking about the possible different phases planet Earth went through before our existence is an incredibly entertaining, thought provoking thing.
Think of it as a mental exercise, a better hobby than watching something or participating in some mindless entertainment: researching ancient history.