It’s no secret that nature is responsible for the majority of mind-blowing forest phenomena known to man. These forest phenomena, however, are unique to forest ecosystems. Read on to see some of the most amazing ones.
1. Crown Shyness
Crown shyness is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some tree species where the upper most branches in a forest canopy avoid touching one another. The visual effect is mind-blowing as it creates clearly defined borders akin to cracks or rivers in the sky when viewed from below. Although these forest phenomena were first observed in the 1920s, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on what causes them.
According to Wikipedia, it might simply be caused by the trees rubbing against one another, although signs also point to more active causes, such as a preventative measure against shading (optimizing light exposure for photosynthesis) or even as a deterrent for the spread of harmful insects. Lodgepole pines and black mangroves are just a couple of the species you might find displaying crown shyness. Hey, some of us are introverts. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
2. Pando Aspen Grove
While this, at first glance, might look like just your average forest phenomena of aspens, it’s actually considered a single living organism. Huh? Yes, this grove of approximately 47,000 trees is classified as a clonal colony, each tree consisting of the same genetic makeup and sharing one massive underground root system. Weighing in at 6,000,000 kilograms, it’s considered the heaviest known organism. It’s not just heavy, though – it takes up some serious space, covering 107 acres. Pando, also known as the Trembling Giant, is located in Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah.
3. The Dancing Forest of Russia
Between the Baltic sea and the Curonian Lagoon, on the Kruglaya Dune of the Curonian Spit, there is a forest where the pine trees seem to be doing the twist.
Dozens of trees in the Dancing Forest of Russia have trunks that are contorted into rings, spirals, and other loops and squiggles, and the reason for this mysterious malformation is not known. The trees were planted in the early 1960s to stabilize the dune sand, but the unstable sand is one explanation people posit for the trees seeming so unstable themselves. Locals call the crooked wood the Drunken Forest.
There is a belief – if one gets through such ring making a wish, it will come true. Another belief says that places where trunks make such rings are the borders of positive and negative energy, and if you get through the ring from the proper side, your life will be one year longer.
4. The Crooked Forest Phenomena
The Crooked Forest is a grove of oddly-shaped pine trees located near the town of Gryfino, West Pomerania, Poland. Some trees have bent at 90 degrees, creating bark-covered bellies that drag just above the earth, oddly, all pointing in the same direction — North.
No one knows for certain what caused this unusual stand of trees in protected forest phenomena, just outside the town of Gryfino, Poland. The town was mostly destroyed during World War II, and the truth of the forest phenomena was lost with it.
“Because there are so many crooked trees in this stand, I would proceed with caution concluding it being human-caused, even though that is a definite possibility” wrote Dr. Remphrey, a retired plant scientist from the University of Manitoba, in an email.
Last, but not least, is a really strange, but astonishing forest phenomenon which is also my favorite:
5. The “Breathing” Forest Phenomena
Forests are often dubbed the lungs of the Earth. But as beautiful as that metaphor is, trees don’t actually breathe in the common sense of the word – or do they?
A creepy new video has captured a dense forest in Quebec rising and falling as if a giant monster were snoring under its mossy surface.
If you can tear your eyes away from the undulating moss and rock for just a moment, you’ll notice a clue in the distance.
“When you look at the trees in the background, it’s clear that the winds were very strong,” Mark Sirois of the Southern Quebec Severe Weather Network told Time.
When the ground is loose enough and the wind sufficiently strong, it can cause trees to sway back and forth, pulling at their web of roots and loosening the surrounding soil. This is what makes the ground appear to “breathe” with life.
“The wind is trying to ‘push’ the trees over, and as the force is transferred to the roots, the ground begins to ‘heave’. If the winds were strong enough and lasted long enough more roots would start to break and eventually some of the trees would topple.”
For now, it seems that trees have won this epic battle of the elements. I hope you liked this article about forest phenomena.