THAILAND received a document from Guinness World Records verifying that a petrified log measuring 69.70 metres in length and found in Tak province is the longest in the world, Naewna newspaper said this evening (July 8).
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa had assigned permanent secretary Jatuporn Burusphat to receive this key document from a representative of Guinness World Records at Doi Soi Malai National Park.
The setting of a world record by this ancient petrified log would help promote geological tourism in Tak that would generate income and improve the quality of life of local residents, provincial Governor Somchai Kitcharoenrungroj said.
In the area where this record-breaking petrified log was found another six such logs measuring 30 – 45 metres in length and with a diameter of 0.5 – 2.0 metres have also been discovered. It is expected that more of them will be unearthed.
Somchai added that this area is an important fossil site because nowhere else in the world can one find this long petrified log while urging all parties to conserve the province’s natural resources.
According to Geology.com petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms. Then, groundwater rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment, replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite, or another inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood, and cellular structures.
Some specimens of petrified wood are such accurate preservations that people do not realise they are fossils until they pick them up and are shocked by their weight. These specimens with near-perfect preservation are unusual; however, specimens that exhibit clearly recognizable bark and woody structures are very common.
The petrified log that brought global fame to Thailand. Photos: Naewna