About POP!

POP! is INQUIRER.net’s premier pop culture channel, delivering the latest news in the realm of pop culture, internet culture, social issues, and everything fun, weird, and wired. It is also home to POP! Sessions and POP! Hangout,
OG online entertainment programs in the
Philippines (streaming since 2015).

As the go-to destination for all things ‘in the now’, POP! features and curates the best relevant content for its young audience. It is also a strong advocate of fairness and truth in storytelling.

POP! is operated by INQUIRER.net’s award-winning native advertising team, BrandRoom.

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]


MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Can this palm tree from Latin America actually walk?

From The Lord of the Rings’ giant living tree-like beings ‘Ents’ to Harry Potter’s attacking tree ‘Whomping Willow,’ we have a plethora of references for moving trees in the fantasy world, but did you know in the real world, there is a species of tree that has been widely purported to “walk”?

Socratea exorrhiza, known as Cashapona or the walking palm tree, is a type of palm tree that can be found in the rain forests of Latin America – where it is said to be able to “walk” and grow new roots where it relocates.

The phenomenon, which has been debated for more than a decade, has been disputed by some experts including biologist Gerardo Avalos who states in his 2005 analysis paper on the tree and its roots that even though the tree occasionally produces new roots to make it seems like it’s moving, the trunk of the tree remains intact in its place with its roots doesn’t technically move.

Although, a recent claim by paleobiologist Peter Vrsansky states otherwise.

Walking palm tree
via Ecuador Forest of Clouds

“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m, then, slowly, as the roots settle in the new soil and the tree bends patiently toward the new roots, the old roots slowly lift into the air. The whole process for the tree to relocate to a new place with better sunlight and more solid ground can take a couple of years,” said Vrsansky to BBC who claimed to have seen the phenomenon firsthand.

However, as much as we want to believe that this tree can walk, the only evidence of it moving is its roots branching out, which is debunked by Avalos stating that even though the tree’s roots branch out, it doesn’t move the tree itself.

The only other evidence of the phenomenon are people claiming they saw the tree move but don’t have a piece of viable evidence to back up their claims – not a timelapse of the tree “walking” nor a documentation of how it “walked.”

So, to answer the question of whether the socratea exorrhiza can actually walk, the lack of evidence leads to the answer: No.

Until someone has probable evidence to prove it moving, the walking palm tree is not walking at the moment.


Other POP! stories that you might like:

Mark Zuckerberg tweets for the first time in 11 years following ‘Threads’ release

New and final season of ‘Sex Education’ is finally coming on September 21

Olivia Rodrigo is ready to spill her ‘GUTS’ with sophomore album

HoYoVerse reveals Genshin Impact’s newest region and upcoming characters

‘Drag Race Philippines’ Season 2 set to reveal cast on July 11

Commentary: Tattoos do not define someone’s entire being


Related Stories

Popping on POP!