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Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena is learning…

Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena is learning about a striking phenomenon called crown shyness, aka some trees really value their personal space. Crown shyness is when the tippy tops of trees don’t touch each other, instead leaving channel-like gaps around the edges of their branches.

“Although the phenomenon was first observed in the 1920s, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on what causes it. According to Wikipedia it might simply be caused by the trees rubbing against one another, although signs also point to more active causes such as a preventative measure against shading (optimizing light exposure for photosynthesis) or even as a deterrent for the spread of harmful insects.”

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[via Colossal]

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