In science, it often happens that an accidental discovery overturns known theories and forces them to look for new paths to truth. A fresh example was brought by the results of a paleontological expedition to the Altiplano andino, a high plateau in Peru, barely explored and full of mysteries. The members of the expedition discovered something incredible - the fossilized remains of a huge tree, whose age is estimated at 10 million years.
For your information: The Andean Plateau belongs to the Puna ecosystem - this is an extremely arid highlands, dotted with salt marshes, where scarce rainfall is barely enough for grass to grow. In some places there are shrubs, but trees do not grow here, in principle, not to mention giants with a trunk diameter of more than a meter. This is exactly what the "impossible" find turned out to be - a tree of this size needs a lot, a lot of water. Even more than the Amazon region.
Interestingly, the expedition found many other traces of smaller ancient vegetation - bark, leaves, pollen. And among them the dominant samples are 5 million years old, which already lived practically in the conditions of the Poona. Most importantly, at that moment the plateau was already located at its present height - 3-4 km above sea level. But the giant tree grew lower, no higher than 2 km, and in a very humid tropical climate. How is this possible?
The working version looks like this: for a period of less than 5 million years, symbolic for the planet, this area as a result of seismic activity has ascended by as much as two thousand meters. The climate changed radically, precipitation practically disappeared, the old ecosystem died out, and the new one was formed with great difficulty in extremely unfavorable conditions. This tectonic shift, a sharp rise, was brewing for tens, if not hundreds of millions of years, but occurred almost instantly, because of which even very tenacious plants did not have time to adapt to new conditions. However, so far this is only a theory that requires further research.