Can this tree actually travel up to 20 meters in the search of better soil.
There is no need to be worried about being chased by trees but the fact that a tree could potentially move where it is growing is pretty incredible.
The ‘Walking Palm’ is unlike other trees in that their roots actually sprout from the exposed bottom of the trunk. As ground erodes from the roots, those roots die off, new roots sprout. These give the tree the appearance of a broom and the illusion of moving.
Does the growth of new roots actually move the location of the tree?
Karl Gruber from BBC has been studying Socratea exorrhiza and how it can sidestep its way through the forest. This seems like question that should be easy to answer, but the answer has been slightly more complicated.
In 2005 biologist Gerardo Avalos produced a paper that stated they stay in place and do not move around but the new sprout new roots.
“My paper proves that the belief of the walking palm is just a myth,” Avalos told Live Science’s Benjamin Radford. “Thinking that a palm tree could actually track canopy light changes by moving slowly over the forest floor … is a myth that tourist guides find amusing to tell visitors to the rainforest.”
It seems that the legend of the ‘walking tree’ is a product of local tour guides to create interesting things to talk about.
Legend, not science.