Is This the World’s Tallest Cactus?

Photos of an unusually-tall cactus growing on the side of a three-storey building in Tokyo, Japan, have been doing the rounds on social media, raising the question: ‘is this the world’s tallest cactus?’

Last Wednesday, Japanese Twitter user =Yang= (@0okome0) posted a bunch of intriguing photos of a building he had spotted in Takinogawa, Tokyo Metropolitan Area. It wasn’t the building that drew people’s attention, but a green pole on the side of it. =Yang= himself admitted that at first he thought it was simply a green-painted utility pole, but the deformed top, which stretched onto the roof of the building, told him otherwise. As he approached the strange sight, he realized that it was actually a thick cactus stretching from the bottom all the way to the roof of the three-storey residential building. He snapped some pics and posted them on Twitter, where they quickly went viral.

Photos: =Yang= (@0okome0)/Twitter

A closer look at the incredibly-tall cactus plant reveals that someone has been taking care of it, fastening it to the side of the building with metal rings, so that it doesn’t bend under its own weight, and removing all of its thorns, to prevent accidental injuries.

While the cactus seems to have grown straight along the building wall, it became deformed when it reached the top, with some Twitter users pointing out that it kind of looks like a human trying to jump over the safety fence on top of the building.


Photo: =Yang= (@0okome0)/Twitter

Unfortunately, no one has any information about the plant – like how old it is, or even what kind of cactus it is – or its owner, but people have been speculating that it might just be the world’s tallest cactus. That doesn’t seem so far fetched, considering that the building seems to be at least 10-meters-high, and the cactus stretches above it.


Photo: =Yang= (@0okome0)/Twitter

Alas, the Guinness World Record for ‘world’s tallest cactus’ belongs to a Mexican Giant Cardon cactus which measured 19.2 meters in 1995. That’s going to be hard to beat, but the Takinogawa cactus is still growing. And there is always the title of the tallest urban cactus…

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