Moss grows best in the the shade (and damp, but most relevant right here is shade). Due to the fact that of the curvature that the Earth, in the north hemisphere the north next of tree is shadier than the southern side, therefore if moss grow on just one next of a tree, it is most likely to it is in the phibìc side. In the southern hemisphere, the entirety thing is mirrored so the moss is ~ above the southern side. This is, however, nothing much more than a ascendancy of thumb, as there are countless other components that affect moss, specifically the density of foliage and humidity.
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Moss prefers damp areas irrespective the facing.
You require to cut out a couple of variables prior to you deserve to use moss together a pretty reliable method to recognize North:
Ignore moss ~ above the ground. The soil is usually damp as result of water evaporating.
Ignore moss that"s growing on an incline. An incline slows water operation off therefore the area remains damper because that longer.
Ignore moss that"s growing on rough bark/stone. Choose an incline, rough bark & stone slows water run off.
With that in mind, select moss that"s growing at least waist height on a vertical, smooth surface.
It"s not 100% trustworthy however. So check about for various other mossy regions to gain confirmation.
There"s some truth to that in that moss prefers shady locations rather than straight sunny ones, therefore (in the northern hemisphere) since the phibìc is the generally an ext shady part, you"d assume moss will be much more likely to prosper on the phibìc of the tree.
For me though, it"s nothing much more than a curious reality rather than anything to reliably usage in regards to orientation or navigation. There"s every sorts of other variables that can reason moss to grow or not grow, and like any type of living organism"s placement there"s constantly an aspect of randomness as well! lots of things can impact it, indigenous humidity to moisture to the shade other objects cast around it. If you"re trying to use this come navigate it could easily provide you a false feeling of protection or make you feel uneasy about your favored direction if the "moss rule" contradicts it.
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So yes, over there is some truth behind it and it"s nice come know, however not reliable sufficient to really be of lot use.