The Lost Forest of Mount Mabu Is One of the Top Ten Unexplored Places on the Planet

Yana Bostongirl

There are still many places that are still waiting to be discovered by humans. One such place is a remote mountain in the African nation of Mozambique. Mount Mabu, considered to be the largest medium-altitude rainforest in southern Africa, was hidden away from human eyes all this time mainly due to the civil war that raged in Mozambique from 1977 to 1992.

According to reports, scientists only came to know about it in 2005: "The locals knew of this mountain, of course, but scientists had no knowledge of it before 2005. This is when scientists at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens first set eyes upon it, thanks to Google Earth's satellite maps. Google Earth collects and curates global satellite images and makes them freely searchable by the public."

It was while he was looking for biodiversity hotspots on Google Earth maps that conservation biologist Julian Bayliss stumbled upon Mount Mabu. Further investigation proved that this mysterious mountain was unmapped, unexplored, unlogged, and totally unrepresented in the scientific collections or literature anywhere in the world.

Due to the role that Google Maps played in the discovery of this hidden gem, the lost forest of Mount Mabu is sometimes referred to as "Google Forest."

Upon making their way to Mount Mabu, researchers discovered an ecosystem largely untouched by humans and many new species of flora and fauna as this excerpt explains: "In addition to thousands of tropical plants, they also saw blue duiker antelope, samango monkeys, elephant shrews, and almost 200 different types of butterflies."

The government of Mozambique is keen on putting in places that will prevent commercial logging in the forest.

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