Kryzwy Las: The Crooked Forest

I came across this image during some casual browsing through Facebook. It’s amazing what neat things you can stumble upon during such a seemingly unproductive activity. This forest is like nothing I’ve seen before: otherwise average pine tress that have grown into an unusual shape, despite being surrounded by normal specimens.

This fascinating and aptly named “Crooked Forest” (or Kryzwy Las in Polish), is today located in Western Poland – though it was planted in the 1930s back when the area was part of German Pomerania. It consists of about 400 such trees that have apparently been made to grow this way through human intervention, though how or why remains a mystery.

Interestingly, one friend of mine remarked on seeing similar trees around a nuclear facility in Russia. I initially would have assumed some sort of radioactive or chemical effect was responsible, but this forest’s emergence pre-dates anything capable of that. Another respondent noted how magnetism often influences the orientation of other living things, and that perhaps some highly magnetic anomaly is behind this.

Upon doing some minor research – there wasn’t much to find – I discovered that they were likely allowed to grow for 7 to 10 years before tree farmers kept then down. Perhaps its the same horticultural technique used to shape lucky bamboo and other plants – though that would take quite a lot of time, skill, and patience.  Again, why they went through the trouble to do this is unknown, but for all we know they just thought it’d be neat or something.

Which it very much is. The feedback I received upon sharing the first image was surprisingly enthusiastic. I merely expected some casual interest, but a lot of people were enamored by it. The peculiarities of nature or human aesthetics can be a captivating thing, even if it seems simple or minute in scale. I’m heartened to know I’m far from alone in being awed by the “little things” in life (of course, that’s why all the respondents are my friends).

As one friend of mine put it, the unusual curvature of the trees is like something out of Dr. Seuss. Another friend and fellow bibliophile noted how one could read on them – which, come to think of it, seems like a neat thing to do.

In fact, I think I’ll seriously chalk that up as something to do one of these days, given that I’ve always wanted to go to Poland anyway (plus, who how many people could say they’ve seen these trees in real life, let alone read on them?).

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2 comments on “Kryzwy Las: The Crooked Forest

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