The square trees of El Valle de Anton

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Posted on Tue, Mar 24 2015 09:55:06

square treesEl Valle de Anton is a small town in Panama, which sits on the second largest inhabited dormant volcano in the world – in the crater valley with the area of 18 square kilometers. The volcano's activity ceased about 10,000 years ago.

Besides people living in a volcano crater, the valley is unique because of the weird square trees, which grew on the volcanic soil. These rare cottonwood trees have been baffling tourists and scientists, and so far there is no direct explanation why the tree trunks are square, with hard right angles.

It is believed that this strange anomaly of nature doesn't occur anywhere else in the world. Experts from the University of Florida took a few tree seedlings to see if they will retain their rectangular shape if planted elsewhere. It turned out that the rectangular shape of trees is directly related to the conditions of the valley – when planted in any other location, the trees would have normal circular trunks.

The square trees are located at the foothills of Cerro Gaital behind the Hotel Campestre. Besides the trees, you can see rare endangered golden frogs endemic to the area.

Gallery: The square trees of El Valle de Anton

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Read more about Panama off the beaten path
Find more off the beaten path near: Ola Panama Portobelo San Telmo

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