For Some Reason This Tree Species Leans Sideways When Planted Outside Its Natural Habitat

Araucaria columnaris, also known as the coral reef araucaria, Cook pine or New Caledonia pine, is a species of conifer native to New Caledonia that tends to tilt sideways when planted outside its natural habitat.

First classified by Johann Reinhold Forster, a botanist accompanying Captain James Cook on his second voyage to circumnavigate the globe as far south as possible, the araucaria columnaris soon became popular all around the world, thanks to its distinctive narrowly conical shape and its height (up to 60 meters). Nowadays, these evergreen giants are planted as ornamental trees in various areas with warm and temperate climate on five continents, and they generally don’t attract too much attention, but in some cases they have one noticeable particularity – they lean heavily to one side, and when there are more of them planted in the same area, they all lean in the same direction…

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The Mysterious ‘Fairy Circles’ of Namibia

Legend says that they are footprints of the gods, others believe that they are UFO landing sights, and scientists have their own theories, but the truth is that no one really knows how the fairy circles dotting the Namib coastal desert came to be.

Fairy circles are uniformly distributed round gaps in arid grassland across the Namib which look like polka dots on fabric when see from the air. Until 2014, they were known to only occur along the Namib Desert in southern Africa, but then almost identical formations were discovered near the mining town of Newman in Western Australia. Still, the fairy circles of Namibia remain the most famous and fascinating to the scientists who have studied them since the 1970’s. Theories about their formation and purpose abounds, but so far no one has been able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that theirs is the true answer to this decades-old enigma.

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