Calif. redwood may be world's tallest live thing

/ Source: The Associated Press

A redwood in a remote Northern California coastal forest has been tentatively measured as the world's tallest living thing.

The tree called Hyperion stands at 378.1 feet, eight feet taller than the previous record holder, another coast redwood dubbed Stratosphere Giant in a state park about 90 miles south.

Two amateur California naturalists found the tree earlier this summer during a bushwhacking expedition in search of tall trees. Chris Atkins, credited with discovering the Stratosphere Giant in 2000, and Michael Taylor returned later with scientists to obtain more exact measurements of the tree's height using a tripod-mounted laser.

The team also identified two other redwoods in the same forest taller than the reigning record holder: a tree called Helios at 376.3 feet and another called Icarus at 371.2 feet.

Officials would not pinpoint the exact locations of the trees out of concern that too many visitors could damage the delicate ecology of the mild, foggy slopes where the trees live.

Researchers plan to climb Hyperion in coming weeks and drop a tape measure to confirm its height so it can be entered in the record books, Atkins said.