Arbol de Navidad – Mexico’s Unique Christmas Tree-Shaped Waterfall

The Sumidero Canyon, located in the Mexican state of Chaiapas, is home to one of the most unique waterfalls in the world. This breathtaking natural formation, locally called Arbol de Navidad, is shaped like a Christmas tree.

Sumidero Canyon is dotted with several waterfalls, many of which aren’t even visible from ground level. But you can’t miss the enormous Christmas tree. A photograph of the waterfall with a boat below it gives an idea of just how huge it is. The moss-layered green rocks seem to erupt out of nowhere on the mountain-side. They are shaped a lot like the branches of a tree, and the moss completes the effect. Water spills from a hole above this formation, adding to the beauty of the scenery.

According to Sergio Lopez Mendoza, a professor at the School of Biological Sciences in a Chaiapas University, the Christmas tree has formed over 1000s of years. It is a result of the natural hydrological cycle, and the physical and chemical characteristics of the rocks. Unfortunately, the Arbol de Navidad is under threat of being destroyed. Professor Sergio says that the alterations caused by humans to the environment has caused the hydrological cycle to break. There are long periods without any water supply, so the Christmas tree is weakening and breaking.


Photo: marcel_pics

The situation was first discovered by authorities two years ago, when they noticed a detachment of rock layers. Experts from the Mexican Geological survey have been making field trips to study the rock formations. This research will help diagnose the problem and propose possible solutions.


Photo: Sergio S R

Sumidero Canyon is one of nature’s richest bounties. Apart from the Christmas Tree Waterfall, it has thirty rapids, four waterfalls, three beaches, two freshwater springs and a three-meter wide cofferdam. Several endangered and threatened species live here.


Photo: Limber Robledo

I do hope scientists do find a way to save such wonders of the world from destruction.


Photo: Los Viajeros


Photo: Ser Turista


Photo: Themadatter

Sources: Ritemail, Diario Contra Poder