Forests are an integral part of the ecosystem and fulfil many functions. One of the most important functions is the production of oxygen and biomass. Forests also act as natural carbon sinks, storing carbon-based chemical compounds, thereby cleansing the environment. Hence, forests are essential for the survival of humans and every other living organism. Therefore, steps must be made for the conservation of forest and wildlife. However, certain forests have unexplained characteristics that leave scientists stumped. Read on to explore the unusual forests of the world.

Crooked Forest

The Crooked Forest is a grove of almost 400 pine trees that were planted in the 1930s near the town of Gryfino, Poland. It is named so because of the very unusual appearance of the trees.

The trees are sharply bent towards the north, just above the ground level. However, it curves back up, giving a “crooked” appearance. The trees are speculated to have been grown this way with human tools or artificial techniques. However, the reason or the exact methods used are unknown. Some believe that the trees were grown this way to make furniture or build boats. Other conjectures include a severe snowstorm that knocked over the trees during its early years.

Dancing Forest

Located in Kaliningrad, Russia, the Dancing Forest comprises pine trees twisted into a multitude of shapes. It was planted in the early 1960s to stabilize the dune sand. However, the trees have been showing rather unusual growth patterns ever since then.

The actual reason behind the convolutions are still debated. One explanation is the activities of the Pine shoot moth (Rhyacioniabuoliana). This moth can cause distortions in tree growth by damaging the apical buds in the pine’s shoot. Consequently, the trees end up growing from odd angles through the lateral buds. However, the trees need sunlight and correct themselves, thereby giving a contorted appearance.

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