If you're a fan of tropical fruit, we've got quite the treat for you!
Brazilians Tarcísio Foltz and Gilberto Franz (both Brazil) discovered the world's tallest papaya tree, standing at 14.55 m (47 ft and 8.83 in) tall. The tree was verified in Nova Aurora, Paraná, Brazil, on 2 September 2021.
Early last year, Tarcísio realised that the papaya tree located on his farm was much taller than any other he had ever seen. Tarcísio then invited his friend (and former farm owner) Gilberto Franz to measure the impressive tree using a drone.
After three months the duo decided to officially measure the tree, and with the help from a team of experts, the tree's height was confirmed. They discovered that the tree sitting on their New Aurora farm was in fact the tallest papaya tree in the world!
Papaya is an exotic fruit, with a sweet taste similar to that of an apricot. In Brazil, the fruit is not only consumed in its natural state, but is also used to prepare ice cream, juice, fruit drinks and dessert creams. It is typical of tropical and subtropical regions, so it adapts well to Brazil's climate, making the country one of the largest papaya producers in the world.
The record holders are proud of this title and hope to spread Nova Aurora's name throughout the world. They also want the city's inhabitants to feel gratitude and take pride in their roots.
"My goal is to show that there are many ways to be happy, and I felt very happy to share this achievement." - Gilberto Franz
Tarcísio Foltz and Gilberto Franz ran into some bumps in the road when verifying the tree's size. As they prepared to take the tree's measurements, they found frost on the tree, causing it to lose its fruits and leaves.
The guidelines state that the tree needs to be alive to qualify for the record, meaning Tarcísio and Gilberto had to patiently wait nearly four months for it to recover from the frost damage and start regrowing it's leaves.
"I know that Guinness World Records archives and documents the very best of everything, so this is something we took seriously. It's a very big honour for me. I am very happy and very proud to be a record holder recognized by the most important institution in the subject in the entire world."
The papaya tree boasts a tall stem and large leaves that grow in a spiral. It usually takes about three years to reach maturity and begin producing fruit, which form in a cluster inside the tree's large protective leaves.
Once the plant reaches a height of about 90 cm, it becomes possible to identify its gender. The flower of the female papaya plant is close to the stem and is larger than that of the male plant.
It is necessary to have at least one male papaya tree for every 10 to 15 female papaya trees. Fertilisation should be organic to keep the plants healthy and can be done using chicken or cattle manure.
The fruit generally begins to ripen four to six weeks after the flower opens up, after which it can be harvested.
The previous record holder for the tallest papaya tree in the world, which was grown in India by Jhantu Paul, was confirmed on 22 January 2017 and measured an astonishing 14.08 m (46 ft 2.33 in) tall.Congratulations Tarcísio and Gilberto, you are OFFICIALLY AMAZING™!