The spruce, fir, and pine trees we cut down to decorate our homes each winter carry a few secrets of their own, not least of which is that given the right conditions and time they can grow to be among the tallest trees in the world—some of them reaching a staggering 200 or even 300-plus feet. Here are 3 more surprising tidbits about these holiday treasures, reports the BBC:
- They can turn to glass. Researchers have found these trees can survive incredibly cold temperatures by becoming similar to a window pane—but made of sugars, protein, and water rather than silica.
- They can be home to tiny tarantulas. The spruce-fir moss spider is only a quarter-centimeter long and is endangered, but has been found in tiny communities in places like North Carolina.
- They can house their own ecosystems. They're so tall that mammals like flying squirrels and red tree voles can live entire generations in them, never touching the ground.
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