A patch of some 400  pine trees in Poland’s Krzywy Las, Crooked Forest, has a most unusual look– tree trunks with a significant curvature like a giant “c.” The trees are all bent northward stretching out about 2-3 feet and then pivoting back upwards. This unusual look has been the subject of many theories over the years . Nobody know what caused the curvature, but theories abound:

The story is that in the 1930s, a group of farmers in the local town planted the trees  and manipulated their growth to create wood  that would help them manufacture  furniture or build ships. The distinctive shape and the fact that it is located right next to a power plant definitely seems to bear the story out. But the local town was so devastated by World War II that this plan was never implemented.

The most intriguing part of this story is the fact that this curvature occurred. Although the method and motive for this occurrence elude us. Below are three theories:

  1. Heavy snowfall kept saplings flattened during the spring when typically there would be a growth spurt. But since nearby trees did not experience this, this theory is not credible.
  2. During the invasion of Poland in World War II, enemy tanks plowed through the fields flattening the trees and creating this crooked growth. This theory doesn’t explain why the curvature is so unique or that this curvature is confined to just this small patch of trees.
  3. The curvature was man-made to meet a specific need. The curvature was created by design since the trees were very consistently manipulated to meet a very specific need such as creating raw materials for furniture or shipbuilding.

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