X

Drone Photographer Captures ‘Lenin’-Shaped Forest in Siberia

Vladimir Ilich Lenin, the founder and first leader of the Soviet Union, lives on in the hearts and minds of the Russian people, but also in one little-known geoglyph in the country’s Siberia region – pine tree forest that spells “Lenin” in Cyrillic letters.

Russian photographer Slava Stepanov was planning a business trip to the city of Omsk, when he remembered a fascinating Google Earth satellite image captured in that region a few years earlier. Taking a day off from work, Stepanov decided to drive to the town of Tyukalinsk and look for a very common-looking grove on the outskirts of the settlement. Planted in straight rows, typical for man-made forests, the pine grove only revealed its secret when Stepanov released his drone to get a view from high above.

Read More »

The Chained Oak of Oakmanor – An Eerie Tourist Attraction

The county of Staffordshire, in central UK, is home to a mysterious and rather eerie attraction – an old oak tree with branches shackled in heavy metal chains tied to a creepy local legend.

The story of the Chained Oak near the village of Alton is the most famous legend in Staffordshire. It is said that one day during the 1830’s, as the Earl of Shrewsbury was returning home to his home at Alton Towers estate a beggar woman stopped his carriage in the middle of the road and asked him if he could spare a coin or two. The earl cruelly dismissed her and urged the driver to move on, at which point the woman allegedly cursed him to lose a member of his family whenever a branch fell off a magnificent oak on the side of the road.

  Read More »

The Twisted Trees of Slope Point – A Natural Wonder Shaped by the Wind

Slope Point is known for being the southernmost tip on New Zealand’s South Island, but also for hosting some of the strangest-looking trees in the world. They are shaped by the relentless winds that constantly pummel this place.

Trees don’t usually grow in the Slope Point area. It’s not that the soil isn’t fertile enough, but the winds blowing through the slopes and fields of this place make it an inhospitable place. Still, the farmers that bring their sheep here for grazing planted patches of trees as shelter for the animals. Only instead of growing upright, like other specimens, most of these trees are twisted and crooked, with their canopy looking like windswept hair. They look unlike anything else in the world, and they have made the otherwise unremarkable Slope Point famous around the globe.

Read More »

Colombian Soccer Field Has Two Living Trees as Goalkeepers

A newly-inaugurated synthetic soccer pitch in Bogota, Colombia, has been attracting a lot of attention on social media due to a couple of permanent “players” – two trees growing in front of each goal.

Back in 2017 the District Institute of Recreation and Sports (IDRD) commissioned engineering and architecture studies for the adaptation and improvement of Parque Japon, a park in northern Bogota, the capital of Bogota. Everything was going according to plan until locals in the area surrounding the park learned that authorities planned to remove or relocate some of the trees in the park to make room for a synthetic soccer and volleyball field. The people took the IDRD to court and in January of this year they won, which technically meant that the trees could not be touched by authorities. However, that didn’t stop contractors from moving forward with the soccer field…

Read More »

Double Amputee Turns Barren Hills into Lush 17,000-Tree Forest

Ma Sanxiao, a 70-year-old double amputee and army veteran from Jingxing, North China’s Hebei province, has pent the last 19 years of his life planting thousands of trees and turning the once barren hills surrounding his village into a small forest.

Ma was diagnosed with blood poisoning in 1974, while serving in the Chinese Army. His condition got worse after he retired, and eventually had both legs amputated because of it – his right leg in 1985, and the left one in 2005. After seven major operations and constant medical treatments, he could barely afford to take care of his family, and ,because of his disability, finding a job proved very difficult. His veteran subsidy was enough to cover his medicine, but he couldn’t remain idle, so in 2000, after getting inspired by another tree-planting story on TV, the double-amputee started planting parasol trees in the barren hills around his remote village, with the intention of selling them for profit.

Read More »

Tree Growing in the Stands of a Football Stadium Is Local Team’s Most Famous Supporter

The Resistencia Sport Club, a small football club in Paraguay’s second division, is the first in the world to make a tree growing in the stands of its stadium an official supporter, even offering it a membership card and complimentary jersey.

Resistencia’s evergreen supporter is as old as the club, so both the team and its human supporters consider it part of their history. It was around back when the stadium was a mere football field in the middle of a wasteland, so 20-years ago, when the club decided to built concrete stands for its fans, it never even considered the possibility of cutting down their oldest supporters. Instead, they asked the architects and engineers in charge of the project to come up with a solution that would allow it to thrive. So they built the stands around it, allowing human fans to watch home games in its shade. A couple of years ago, when Resistencia celebrated its 100th anniversary, management decided to honor the tree by making it an official member of the club, complete with its own member card and jersey.

Read More »

Indian “Tree Man” Planted Over 5 Million Trees to Cope with Tragedy

Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani took his last breath on January 18, 2019, but he will live on in the memory of his countrymen as the “Tree Man of Uttarakhan”, a dedicated conservationist who planted over 50 lakh (5 million) trees and turned his once barren homeland into a lush forest.

Saklani had been fond of trees all his life. He planted his first sapling when he was eight years old under his uncle’s guidance, and kept at it for the next seven decades of his life, until he lost his sight and succumbed to the hardships of old age. However, by that time, the once barren hills in and around his native village of Pujargaon had already become home to a lush forest. Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani’s love for trees is well known, as he often used to call them his children or his closest companions, but few know that the legendary conservationist planted millions of trees to cope with the tragedies in his life.

Read More »

The Rare Rainforest Tree That Bleeds Metal

Pycnandra acuminata is a rare tree native to the shrinking rainforests of New Caledonia that has the rare ability to collect large quantities of nickel from the ground. Its blue-green sap reportedly contains up to 25% nickel.

Trees, or plants in general for that matter, and heavy metals like nickel and zinc don’t really go well together, and that’s what makes Pycnandra acuminata and a few other rare tress species known as “hyperaccumulators” so special. They have somehow evolved to suck out normally toxic levels of heavy metals from the soil and store it in their stems, leaves and seeds. Unfortunately, heavy deforestation in New Caledonia has put this remarkable tree on the list of endangered trees before scientists could even figure out how and why it can tolerate such high quantities of nickel in its latex-like sap.

Read More »

The Mysterious Bent Trees of North America

To the casual observer, the thousands of bent trees scattered throughout the North American continent look like mere freaks of nature, deformed by the elements of disease, but a more careful analysis reveals that these trees bend sharply into right angles, parallel the earth, which suggests that they were intentionally shaped long ago, for an unknown purpose.

Bent, splintered or otherwise deformed trees are not exactly uncommon, but the so called “trail trees” still growing in many US states have a very specific shape. At about four or five feet above the ground, their trunks bend sharply forming right angles, parallel the earth, and then sharply bend upwards once again. Various accidents can cause this shape to occur naturally, but another distinctive trait of these mysterious trees is that they feature no scars in their bent areas. While scientists have yet to agree that this is proof that the trees were purposely bent by humans centuries ago, there are many who believe that the bent trees were once used as markers by hunters and gatherers to help them find their way around the vast wilderness.

Read More »

Europe’s Oldest Tree Is At Least 1,230 Years Old And Still Growing

A team of researchers studying a national park in southern Italy recently discovered the oldest tree in Europe ever to be scientifically dated – a Heldreich’s pine that is at least 1,230 years old and still growing.

Nicknamed “Italus”, the ancient tree was discovered on a steep mountain slope in Italy’s Pollino National Park by a team of researchers from the University of Tuscia, led by Gianluca Povesan. As soon as they saw Italus, researchers knew that they had stumbled upon an ancient specimen, but they didn’t expect it to be the oldest tree ever discovered on the European continent. Even more surprising was the fact that despite its age – a whopping 1,230 years, at least – and an almost non-existent canopy, the tree seemed to be thriving, with heavy ring growth added to its trunk over the last several decades.

Read More »

700-Year-Old Tree Infested with Termites Gets IV Drip Treatment

I always thought intravenous treatments only worked on humans and animals, but apparently they do wonders for sick trees as well. The world’s second-largest Banyan tree is currently being treated against a termite infestation, with an IV drip.

Known as “Pillalamarri” or “Peerla Marri”, the 700-year-old Banyan tree in Mahabubnagar, India’s Telangana state, spreads across three acres, making it the second-largest of its kind in the world. It’s also in danger of being eaten alive by termites, which have already brought down some of its largest branches. Public access to the tree was restricted in December of last year, as desperate authorities scrambled to come up with a way to save one of a’s biggest tourist attractions.

Read More »

Crown Shyness – When Trees Avoid Touching Each Other

Crown shyness or canopy disengagement is a mysterious natural phenomenon in which the crowns of some tree species do not touch each other, but are separated by a gap clearly visible from ground level. The effect usually occurs between trees of the same species, but has also been observed between trees of different species.

The Crown Shyness phenomenon was first documented in scientific literature during the 1920s, but researchers have since not been able to reach a consensus regarding its causes. There are many theories going around in scientific circles, most of which make sense, but no one has been able to prove without the shadow of a doubt why some trees avoid touching each other. But perhaps it’s this mystery, along with its striking appearance, that makes crown shyness such a fascinating phenomenon.

Read More »

The “Forest Man of Bangladesh” Has Been Planting a Tree Every Day for the Past 48 Years

They say that one man can’t make a difference, but Abdul Samad Sheikh, a 60-year-old rickshaw driver from Bangladesh, is living proof that small contributions over a long period of time can mean very much. He has planted at least one tree every day since he was 12-years-old, which means that he has so far planted a small forest of over 17,500 trees. Imagine if everyone followed his example.

Abdul Samad Sheikh, fondly known as “Tree Samad” in his native town of Faridpur, central Bangadesh, has worked as a rickshaw driver for most of his life. The modest job earns him about 100 taka ($1.25) per day, which is barely enough to put food on the table for his family, but he somehow manages to also buy at least one tree from the Faridpur Horticulture Centre, every day. He considers it his duty to the world, and claims he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if he didn’t plant a tree that day.

Read More »

Stunning Celtic Cross Discovered in the Middle of Irish Forest

There is an impressive landmark growing in the middle of Donegal Forest, Ireland, but you could walk right through it and not even though it’s there. This newly-discovered ‘hidden treasure’ only reveals it beauty when seen from above.

The giant Celtic Cross of Donegal recently made international headlines after footage shot using a drone went viral on the internet. Filmmaker Darren Sheaffer was working on a project at the Bogay Walled Garden, outside Newtown Cunningham, when it was mentioned to him that there was an amazing sight hidden in the nearby forest of Donegal. So he took a walk there, launched his drone, and what he saw took his breath away. Right in the middle of the woods was a giant Celtic cross about 100 meters long and 70 meters wide, made up of a different type of tree than the rest of the forest. Donegal’s drone video went viral as part of an ITV report on the unique landmark, and has since been doing the rounds on the internet.

Read More »

This Ukrainian 220-Year-Old Apple Tree Has a Very Unique Way of Staying Alive

The city of Krolevets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, is home to the world’s most unique apple garden, consisting of only one tree. Spanning 10 acres, the 220-year-old tree – known as ‘apple tree colony’ – has dozens of individually rooted trunks that constantly spring to life, making it seemingly impossible to die.

The tree seems to have worked out a brilliant survival strategy, and it looks prepared to survive for centuries to come. It started off as a regular tree, but as it aged, its branches bent so low to the ground that they started to take root as well. Every time one of the ingrown trunks dies, its branches immediately bend to the ground and take root. It had only nine trunks in 1970, but that number had doubled by 2008.

Krolevets-apple-tree8 Read More »