RationalWiki's 2020 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2021.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2120Goal: $3500

Talk:Ancient giant silicon-based tree hypothesis

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Hi! Just decided to create this page about a really stupid subject. It's amusing to me that even Ufoholic, a site that believes in aliens, debunks this "hypothesis".--Jagoe (talk) 19:11, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Does anyone how the Hell is "Людин Рɣси" written in Latin alphabet? --Jagoe (talk) 19:25, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Google translate suggests it's either "Lyudyn Rɣsy" or "Manes Rɣsy" but I don't know which one (or if either translation is even close). Christopher (talk) 19:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Neither have any search results. Christopher (talk) 19:32, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Are [1] and [2] sufficiently mad (and racist) enough? (talk) 21:37, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

For some peculiar reason the websites on which the idea is mentioned do not transliterate this person's name from the Cyrillic.

If there are the 'tree stumps' where are the remains of the rest of the trees? And if such trees did exist would they not extract so much moisture from the surrounding water table that there could not be an ordinary forest around them?

Interesting idea for a SF story - shame about the right wing connections. (talk) 10:30, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

"ɣ" is not a Cyrillic character in any alphabetic system past or present, so his name is likely a pseudonym. "ɣ" is the Greek letter "gamma". Bongolian (talk) 22:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Should [3] be added - one 'exotic corner of the tubes' denouncing another is doubleplusgood. (talk) 17:52, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

A rose by any other name[edit]

Why haven't the proponents of this 'theory' discovered desert roses? Or the 'crystal gardens' many of us probably saw in school science lessons? (talk) 10:13, 8 August 2017 (UTC)


The sentence 'This, however, does not consider whether or not gravity itself exhibits properties as opposed to them being attributed to density alone.' is slightly unclear.

And what is the maximum size a free branch can be before it cannot be supported by the trunk/gravity? Anna Livia (talk) 17:41, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

That's actually a very good point. I suppose there's an answer for branches made out wood and rock. Jagoe (talk) 11:59, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
A fairly basic level of biology suggests the impracticalities - along with 'summer branch drop' and the maximum spans for (construction) cranes. Anna Livia (talk) 14:46, 3 August 2018 (UTC)


The world tree #should# be a key part of the hypothesis should it not? Anna Livia (talk) 14:08, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes, we could comment on mythology. Jagoe (talk) 11:38, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Geologists, unite![edit]

Despite having started this article, I should clarify that my area of "expertise" is biochemistry. As such, it'd be great for RW users keen in geology to expand this article. Many natural wonders have been claimed remnants of giant trees, such as the Devils Tower, featured in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Snopes.com gathers some of the claims.

We can expand the article in two ways:

  • Explaining the formation of some of these geological features.
  • Addressing more problems with this idea. I can see these so far.
    • Such a large structure would collapse.
    • No evidence exists for silicon-based lifeforms.
    • Even if silicon life could work, it would not cohabit with carbon-based life.
    • Some of the purported trees are unambiguously mountains.
    • No root systems have been found beneath these structures.
    • These structures are explicable through more plausible geological processes.
    • Such a large plant would deprive its surroundings of nutrients and minerals. This would be very problematic for agriculture.
    • Such a large plant would deprive the surface beneath it of light. Some happily extrapolate the height based on the "trunk's" width, arriving to the conclusion that these trees could have been 16 kilometers tall. Unless these trees were really separate from one another, anything below the canopy would always be in total darkness.
    • The amount of time it would take these trees to grow into maturity is prohibitively long, due to cellular senescence. Trees aging in the thousands of years are minuscule by comparison. Further, a longer lifespan also means greater chance of acquiring illnesses.
    • Just how would these trees deal with lightnings and fire? If they could indeed be set on fire, that would release a lot of carbon dioxide.

Jagoe (talk) 11:36, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

Article name change?[edit]

I was never very with this article's name: "Ancient giant silicon-based tree hypothesis". First, it sounds flamboyantly specific and overtly long, like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", which could make it hard for people to actually find out about. Second, these trees are not always explicitly claimed to be be silicon-based, that just being an excuse to address the fact that these formations are made of rock. However, naming the article "giant trees" or "ancient giant trees" is also problematic, since these do exist. I also think that I shouldn't have included "hypothesis", because that may lead the reader to think that it was once genuinely considered by the scientific community. So, how could we name it alternatively? "Giant tree woo"? "Pseudobotany"? "Hypergiant tree"? "Giant tree pseudoscience"? Alternatively, we could just go with "Giant trees" and then separate fact from fiction. What do you think? Jagoe (talk) 11:57, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

@Jagoe Silicon tree currently redirects here, I'd suggest reversing the relationship. —Kazitor Kazitor sig pic.png 11:14, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
That would be great.--Jagoe (talk) 10:35, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

Petrified trees[edit]

There should be a linking to [4] - the 'real' silicon trees (though [5] argues otherwise).

And can it be deduced that there are no spelunking silicon tree proponents or they would have mentioned stalactites ('the roots' of silicon trees). Anna Livia (talk) 18:25, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

What happens[edit]

… when Twinkle decides to climb a silicon tree and cannot get down? Anna Livia (talk) 16:40, 13 April 2020 (UTC)