crooked forest

Forests are wind-blocking, sound-muffling, toxin-pulling powerhouses: they gobble up carbon dioxide, turning it into twisted trunks, knobby knees, and braided branches.  Three trillion trees strong, forests cover almost a third of the Earth’s surface. They also tie 1.6 billion people and 4.3 million species together—and we often don’t appreciate them until they’re teetering on the brink of extinction. Ready to rewild and reconnect with the natural world? Try immersing yourself among ethereal green bamboo, umbrella-shaped Dragon blood trees, or J-shaped pines. From Colombia to Namibia, these are seven of the world’s most beautiful forests.

 

Cocora Valley

Quindío, Colombia

In the rolling green foothills of the cloud-capped Andes, there’s a valley where 200-foot wax palms tower like the Truffula Trees in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.  Slender, shag-topped, sturdy, and wax-covered: Cocora Valley’s wax palms—Colombia’s national tree and the world’s tallest palms—scratch the wispy underbellies of rain clouds. During the Monsoon Season, they bend, almost to the point of being horizontal to the ground, but never break, spinning like floral pinwheels above muddy fields of grazing cows and horses.

Dragon’s Blood Forest

Socotra, Yemen

With their umbrella-shaped crowns, straight trunks, and deep-red resin, Socotra’s prehistoric Dragon blood trees look like something straight out of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids. After breaking through beds of limestone and granite, the 32-foot-tall trees channel sea mist, drizzle, and fog into their tightly-gnarled limbs and wax-covered leaves. Then they sprout small, fragrant, white flowers which, over five months, produce berries that turn from pale green to pitch black to neon orange, oozing “blood” as they ripen.

Crooked Forest

Gryfino, Poland

In West Pomerania, Poland, there’s a forest of pine trees that’s become famous because of one little “twist”: all 400 of the trees that were planted there, sometime around 1930, buckle out 90 degrees, creating bark-covered potbellies that drag just above the earth, oddly, all pointing in the same direction—north. No one is certain exactly how or why the trees were bent, but the Crooked Forest is generally thought to be the result of human intervention. The most common theory suggests that farmers manipulated the trees when they were 7-to-10-years-old to create naturally bent timber for furniture or ships. Others blame strong snowstorms, gravitational pull, or Nazi tanks.

No one knows why these trees all bend in the same manner. . While we were strolling around we ran into a man who said he had been working in this park for 15 years and he thinks furniture makers trained the trees so they could be later harvested into benches and sleds. . One thing is for certain he told us – over the years the number of crooked trees has diminished and one day this will just look like any other forest. . So go out and explore now because you never know if it will still be there tomorrow… . . . #crookedforest #poland #polska #polandsights #polandways #polandphotos #igerspoland #europe #ig_europe #nikon #travelphotography #sheisnotlost #beautifuldestinations #beautifulplaces #nationalpark #travelstoke #optoutside #artofvisuals #aov #natgeotravel #bucketlist #dametraveler #traveltheglobe #instatravel #travelgram #passionpassort #darlingescapes #sorel #wanderingwheatleys

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Rockefeller Forest

Weott, California

The Rockefeller forest—located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which is almost twice the size of San Francisco—has the largest remaining contiguous old-growth coastal redwoods in the world.  While the average redwood in Rockefeller forest is roughly 600 to 800 years old, it’s widely known for having trees of all ages. There are “dog hairs”, young, thin redwood trees that cover the ground in patches, and 2,000-year-old redwoods that are covered with spider webs that almost look like beards and have so-called “goose pens”, which are burnt-out caverns in the base of the trees that are as big as playhouses. Oldest of all are the decaying stumps, who shallow-roots were ripped from the fertile earth by high-winds. Rockefeller’s most-famous fallen redwood is the Dyerville Giant.  Weighing in at 1 million pounds and standing 362 feet high—that’s two feet taller than Niagara Falls and comparable to a 30-story building—it was considered the tallest tree in the forest before its fall in 1991.

Have you ever wondered what the roots of a massive redwood tree look like? A few huge specimens from the Saddler Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park were blown over in a violent windstorm many years ago and they now lay horizontal, exposing their huge undersides. . Check out the new category “Giant Tree” on my website for pictures of enormous trees from California and Washington State! http://www.lucascometto.com/#/giant-tree/ . . #tree #hugetree #giant #forest #redwood #SaddlerGrove #HumboldtRedwoods #HumboldtRedwoodsStatePark #RedwoodNationalPark #coastredwood #California #championtree #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix #picoftheday #wanderlust #earthoffical #wow_planet #ourplanetdaily #earthfocus #awesomeearth #nakedplanet #fantastic_earth #igworldclub #discoverglobe #earthfever

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The Amazon

Named after the female warriors of Greek mythology,  the Amazon is itself a place of nearly mythical status.  The largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering a size approximately equal to the lower 48 United States, it spans across eight rapidly-developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, and Suriname.

Considered “the lungs of the world”, the Amazon supplies 20 percent of the world’s oxygen, stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It’s also home to 10 percent of the world’s known species. However, if you’re expecting to see scarlet macaws perching at the top of every tree and pink river dolphins peeking over your canoe, you’re going to be disappointed. In fact, the Amazon’s true beauty lies in the little things: listening to the otherworldly cry of Howler monkeys, swinging in hammocks, and canoeing on the world’s largest river.

 

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Kyoto, Japan

One of Kyoto’s top attractions and one of Japan’s most recognizable landmarks, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove has seemingly-endless emerald stalks. They’re so thick that the city’s noise completely disappears. All that remains is the creaking sound of the wind blowing through bamboo—a sound designated by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

Let’s play bamboozle! 🎋#guessthetvshow

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The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove’s main path, located between Tenryuji Temple and Okouchi Sanso Garden, is only 1,640 feet, but it accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, and rickshaw rides. Admittedly, on weekends, national holidays, and Kyoto Hanatouro, camera-clutching foreigners and the city’s best artisans, who handcraft bamboo baskets, coasters, and chopstick sets, pack in like sardines. Though, the slight-suffocating crowds are well worth it, because on sunny, breezy days, you can experience komorebi: a Japanese word used to describe soft, dappled light as it filters through leaves and branches.

 

Deadvlei

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Cradled between the tallest sand dunes on Earth—some 1,312 feet high, which is almost as lofty as the Empire State Building—there’s a forest where nothing has bloomed since the First Crusade. Deadvlei, which means “the place where everything ends”, was once a fertile desert claypan.  However, some 1,000 years ago, it began drying up after encroaching sand dunes cut it off from the Tsauchab River. The camel thorn trees that lived within the marsh eventually died, and even though a millennium has passed, they’ve yet to decompose. Set against a striking blue sky, fiery-red hills, and bleached white clay, these carbon-black, mummified trees are hauntingly beautiful.