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Crown Shyness: a phenomenon wherein trees don’t like to touch each other

Did you know that humans aren’t the only ones who need personal space? As it turns out, trees do too.

Crown Shyness is a natural phenomenon wherein neighbouring trees avoiding touching each other’s branches and leaves, creating an oddly beautiful pattern in the gaps in the canopy.

Scientists have been trying to explain this behaviour since the 1920s, but have been unable to come to a definite conclusion.

"Crown shyness" es un fenómeno en donde las copas de árboles de tamaños similares no se tocan formando canalsitos. Científicos no saben realmente porque se comportan así…who cares, it's beautiful!! #parqueinternacionallaamistad #caminandopanama #increiblechiriqui #crownshyness

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One theory suggests that the gaps form when strong winds break off branches, and to adapt, the crowns grow to never touch again. Experiments revealed that trees artificially restrained from colliding did grow to touch each other.

Two other theories stated that the shyness either optimises light exposure for photosynthesis or acts as a defensive mechanism that prevents leaf-eating insect larvae from spreading.

ขนาดต้นไม้ยังมีช่องว่าง…คนรักกันก็ควรเว้นระยะห่างให้กันบ้าง #CrownShyness Cr.Twitter:Gratitude Attitude

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The phenomenon only happens to certain tree species. Probably the INFJs and INFPs of the forest.

#Crownshyness phenomena. #earth #rainforest #FRIM 🍃

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Crown shyness is the exquisite term used to describe the tendency among trees to respect one another’s space, maximize their own access to light, and grow in harmony with one another. Rather than growing branches aggressively into the space of another tree, thereby interfering with a neighbor’s ability to receive light, trees use highly calibrated light sensitivity to grow in cooperation with one another, creating a gorgeous blanket of branches that form a canopy (coming together without quite touching). They do this instead of building a tangled web of combative, competing branches that diminish each tree’s access to essential light for photosynthesis. What if we humans could take only what we needed, respect the rights of others to access what they require to flourish, and live together in one balanced collective? When we utilize only what we require and don’t demand that others suffer for our gain, we can create something equally beautiful. (This photo was taken by the award-winning nature and wildlife photographer from Malaysia, Sanjitpaal Singh.)

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'Crown shyness is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some tree species where the upper most branches in a forest canopy avoid touching one another." Cool stuff, never heard of it before. Has anyone seen this irl? #canopy #crownshyness

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Via This Is Colossal

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

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