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Remember Breath of the Wild’s Giant Trees? Here’s What They’re Based On

Traversing through the gorgeous scenery in Breath of the Wild is honestly one of my very favorite things to do in the game. Whether by foot, horseback, or the occasional shield-surf, I love revisiting these jaw-dropping – and often bizarre – regions in Hyrule. One of the places I wound up being the least interested in aside from the desert was the Thundra Plateau… mostly because it’s always storming and shocking me if I’m not fast enough to put my metal gear away!

What’s changed my tune? Well, it just struck me a few minutes ago that the trees there are based off a real-world type of tree, which I just learned existed a week ago. Those strange, massive, mushroom-looking trees in the Thundra Plateau seem to be based off the exotic and mysterious dragon’s blood tree in Socotra.

Allow me to explain how I got here. For the past, well, almost two weeks, I’ve been completely absorbed in a book series called The Monstrumologist. In the third book, the characters visit the fabled Isle of Bliss called Socotra to hunt down the holy grail of monsters in a place where blood rains from the sky. I wondered if anything like that existed in real life, so I searched for the answers. Turns out that yes, it can “rain blood” there – if the resin from a dragon’s blood tree falls on you. Farther and farther I fell into the rabbit hole when it just clicked:

“Holy dang. The dragon’s blood tree looks EXACTLY like those big behemoths in the Thundra Plateau!”

And so here we are. ^_^

If you aren’t aware of Socotra or the dragon’s blood tree, then listen up! This little archipelago is situated in the Arabian Sea around 200 miles off the cost of Yemen and Somalia. Called “The Isle of Bliss,” the island is home to maybe 50,000 people, 700 exceedingly rare plants and animals, hardly any paved roads, and yes – the dragon’s blood trees. In fact, about 33% of what you find in Socotra can’t be found anywhere else on the planet, making it the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean!

As for the trees themselves, they possess large round branches that are shaped similarly to giant mushrooms or umbrellas. These unique evergreens can live for thousands of years, and when you cut them, a dark red resin or sap oozes out from within – hence the name (oh, its proper name is Dracaena cinnabari, by the way!).

So the next time you visit the Thundra Plateau or that area where you need to disrobe during a blood moon to make that Shrine pop out of the ground, think of the dragon’s blood trees!

I don’t know about you… but after learning that, I want to visit Socotra! But I probably won’t for a variety of reasons – partially because it’s far away and partially because I read that book and I don’t want to meet a terrible fate, haha! How about you? Who knows – maybe you’ll find a Thunderwing butterfly if you visit! 😉


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