California trying to make the world’s tallest tree invisible. Now visitors face jail, fines

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It sounds hard to hide the tallest tree in the world. But that’s exactly what officials at California’s Redwood National Park have been trying to do since 2006.

Now, the 380-foot tall redwood tree is officially off-limits. In a statement last week, the park wrote that any visitors caught near it could face six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

For 16 years, the park refused to publish the location of the tree in order to protect it. They feared that too many visitors to the site could damage it and the delicate ecology of its surrounding slopes.

The coast redwood (sequoia sempervirens) is estimated to be 600 to 800 years old. Named Hyperion after the Greek Titan god of heavenly light, it stands deep in the park and has no trails leading to it, but its internet fame has made it a frequent destination for thrill-seekers, travel bloggers and tree enthusiasts. People are fascinated by Hyperion’s size and secrecy. Over the years, it’s been the subject of hundreds of Reddit threads.

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