Trees avoid touching? The stunning mystery of crown shyness
Scientists can't agree on why these trees are so timid
The next time you find yourself walking through a forest of tall trees, don't miss the opportunity to look up at the gorgeous canopy overhead. You might be surprised by what you find.
This mysterious, naturally occurring phenomenon in which the crowns (top leafy areas) of some tree species grow without touching each other is adorably named “crown shyness.” The trees are separated by a gap clearly visible from ground level because they want to avoid touching each other.
The exact physiological explanation of crown shyness has yet to be determined, but the beauty has captured scientists' attention for nearly 100 years. Check out this gallery to see stunning photos of one of nature's many marvels, and some theories about what caused their introversion.