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October 20, 2017
Q. Nature is filled with superlatives — the oldest, the tallest, the stoutest. How is Thimmamma Marrimanu one of the crown jewels of sorts?
A. This banyan tree with its numerous trunks and complex root system has the biggest tree canopy on the planet, spreading out nearly five acres, reports Ben Crair in Smithsonian magazine. The banyan tree is the national tree of India. Legend has it that this particular one grew from the spot where Thimmamma Marrimanu threw herself on her husband's funeral pyre in 1433 and “because of her sacrifice, one of the poles supporting the pyre grew into a tree with mystical powers.” The local forest department supports the tree's continued growth, making it still remarkably healthy at more than 550 years old.
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