A Chinese fan palm in Heishiding Geopark in the city of Zhaoqing, South China's Guangdong Province. Regarded as one of the largest virgin forests near the Tropic of Cancer, the park is home to more than 2,000 kinds of plants, 200 species of wild animals and over 900 kinds of insects.
The Heishiding Geopark in the city of Zhaoqing in South China's Guangdong Province is regarded as one of the largest virgin forests near the Tropic of Cancer.
Covering an area of more than 4,000 hectares, the Heishiding Geopark stands out from other places that neighbour the Tropic of Cancer.
The north latitude at 23.5 degrees is the northern boundary of the tropics. Its parallel marks the farthest place in the north at which the sun can be seen directly overhead at noon.
The sun reaches its vertical position at noon over the Tropic of Cancer around June 22, the day of summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
Most of the area along the Tropic of Cancer is desert. And the Heishiding Geopark, located at the north latitude of 23.26 degrees and east longitude of 111.52 degrees, is the green jade of this barren belt.
Fengkai, the county where the geopark is located, has been nicknamed "Little Guilin" in China due to its water and mountain landscapes similar to Guilin, a famous tourist city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The Heishiding Geopark has amiable climate, with an average annual temperature of 19.5 degrees and annual rainfall of 1,380 millimetres.
The park's rich natural resources and spectacular views attract tourists, explorers and scientists from home and abroad.
According to experts, the park has more than 2,000 kinds of plants, many of which are rare species including gingko and other precious ferny plants.
In addition, the geopark is the major production base of orchids in Guangdong Province, growing almost all kinds of the flower in the country.
About 200 kinds of wild animals and over 900 kinds of insects find a comfortable home there too. Rare species include the boa and pangolin.
Scientific and research spot
Because of the park's natural diversity, the Sun Yat-sen University set up a biological research centre on tropical and subtropical forests there in 1985. And an observation station was also built on top of the 200-metre-high hill.
The park not only benefits scientists, but also good for visitors' health. The amount of negative hydronium in the air is between 5,000 to 55,000 particles per cubic centimetre, making the air fresher.
More than 20 kinds of plants and trees are found in Heishiding that are good for the human body. For example, some trees have insect repellent and pain relieving properties.
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