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Krzywy Las (crooked forest) in Poland, the mysterious forest with over 400 curved pine trees.

3 min read

Just outside the town of Gryfino and Nowe Czarnowo, in the West Pomeranian region of Poland, there is Krzywy Las, or Crooked Forest, where the pine trees look like stick figures, and it’s certainly one of the most unusual of Europe. On some 400 trees, the trunks buckle out 90 degrees and the curious fact it’s that all pointing in the same direction, north. No one knows for certain what caused this unusual stand of the trees in a normal forest, the town was mostly destroyed during the second World War, and the truth of the forest was lost with it. This kind of strange trees exist also in other parts of the world, but not in such great numbers of trees, or as neatly arranged as here.

The pine trees, probably have been planted in the early 1930s, bend at the trunks, and extend outward before zipping back up into the sky. The trees, the tallest are high about 15 metres, were probably damaged at an early age, causing them to grow permanently on this way, but it is not so easy give an explanation. If the cause for Poland’s crooked forest were genetic, probably the curves would continue beyond the base. But for their smoothness, something environmental is the reason of these curves. It’s possible that a heavy snowfall covered the trees and continued to weigh them in spring. And it’s in fact an explanation that the form assumed by plants are absolut natural, and the snow could have weighed down the trees, making them grow wonderfully curved.

But the prevailing hypothesis is that farmers, with some form of technique or tool, manipulated the trees in the 1930s but method and purpose remain, until today, completely unknown. One hypothesis is that one wanted to make naturally bent wood, to use it later in the furniture industry for the construction of means of transport such as ships or wagons, but the war interrupted all their projects. It’s possible, because it’s enought usual that people do sculpt trees into furniture, knots or baskets, and for example American Indians bent marker trees into symbols they used to navigate and communicate in the forest, even if those trees are often found individually, and not in Europe.

There’s no explanation for the reason the trees point north either, and it’s really possible that it’s coincidental? The most daring or fanciful people evoke magnetic influences or extraterrestrial influences, but until today the mystery, including the paranormal hypotheses, remains scientifically unsolved. The forest attracts thousands of curious people every year, who photograph this unique natural spectacle in the world, and among them, exactly two years ago, me too, even if I am not a good photographer.

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