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Chinese park hopes 56-metre-long fossilised tree will put it in Guinness World Records book

An ecological park in northwestern China hopes that its 56-metre-long fossilised tree trunk will be recognised by Guinness World Records.

The section of petrified wood found in the Xinjiang Ancient National Park is expected to surpass the current record held by a 38-metre long piece of petrified wood, which was also unearthed in Xinjiang, the China News Service reported.

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Petrified or silicified wood, also known as stone tree, is a type of fossil formed from a dead tree. It is created when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay. Its organic materials are then slowly replaced by minerals over hundreds of millions of years.

Many pieces of petrified wood had been found in Xinjiang, the report said.

The current record holder of the world’s longest fossilised tree trunk has been transported to Shandong province, where it is now on display in a museum.

Local governments and tourism sites across China are keen to set records that recognised by the Guinness World Records – the annually published reference book that lists world and national records about human achievements and extremes in the natural world – often as a way to boost publicity and attract visitors.

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In July, a village in Jiangxi province was named as home to the world’s largest lotus field. The field measured 1.08 square km.

Last year a 326-metre lift, built on the side of a cliff at the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, in Hunan province, was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest outdoor elevator.