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What the What???

April 7, 2013

Poland’s Crooked Woods

Continuing our series of posts to help anyone and everyone learn a little bit more about the world around them…  Miss Tadey found the weirdest forest in the world – and it just happens to be just a few hundred miles away from where we’re traveling in 2014.  Anyone involved in TAP – teachers, parents, students, former travelers, or future travelers are all welcome to submit an article for publication here on our site.  Know something weird, cool, interesting, or important – please feel free to share.  

Magic forests are usually portrayed as dark, creepy places.  There are Big Bad Wolves in there.  Candy houses inhabited by child eating witches.  Boogiemen.  Lions, tigers, and bears.  Oh my!  However, not every crazy strange forest is filled with baddies – some are filled with wonder, with questions, with… well… the weirdest trees I’ve ever seen.

Pictures of the Crooked Forest of Gryfino have been all over the place on the internet – popping up for the last few years in some Facebook memes, but you probably didn’t realize that the crooked woods were located in Western Poland about two hours east of Berlin, Germany – not terribly far from where TAP traveled on our first trip way back in 2007, and only a few hours from where we’ll be in June of 2014.

The crooked woods are made up of about 400 trees that have a sharp bend in their trunks about a foot off the ground.  Each of these trees bends due north and almost all of them for a near perfect ninety-degree angle.  Using fancy scientific technology, arbologists (which is an unnecessarily big word that means “tree studier”) have figured out that the trees are about 80 years old and were all bent when they were somewhere between seven and ten years old.  In fact, if you look really closely at the pictures, you can see exactly where the trees were bent.

They look like a question mark, which is sort of fitting.

It could be important to note how close these trees are to Germany.  If you do the math, you can figure out that the trees were  bent over sometime during World War II.   That makes it seem like it might be plausible that tanks from Germany were on their way to Gryfino, Poland and rolled over the trees, causing a perpetual bend in their trunks.

That may seem crazy, but there are a ton of other theories  regarding how the trees were bent.  Some people say a very heavy wind swept through the area and forced all the trees to bend over.  Others surmise that the earth’s gravitational pull changed and pulled the trees back towards the earth and caused the sharp angle in the trunks.

Along the same lines, but a bit more magical, there are some people who believe that the forces of evil were so strong during the war that they actually caused the trees to warp and grow sideways.  Going along with the concept of overwhelming evil being responsible for the crooked tree trunks, some folks think that maybe the trees mark the entrance to a portal to Hell.  Even thinking about either of those options gives me the heebies and the jeebies.

Then there’s the sci-fi people – the ones that think perhaps an alien race came down and bent the trees to warn humanity against future wars.  After all, I don’t think there are a ton of cornfields in Poland for aliens to mess with, so maybe the trees are a Polish version of crop circles.

Most of those theories are easily dismissed, because arbologists are pretty sure the bends in the trees are man made, but they are not sure why someone would go through the trouble of bending 400 trees like that.  Apparently some people have some odd hobbies.  They might have been used to make furniture, but it takes trees years to grow, especially after the trauma of a ninety-degree angle.  It doesn’t seem time effective to bend the trees especially when craftsman have developed other ways to bend wood for their work.

There are plenty of theories, but it might just be a mystery forever.  If you look closely at the picture, you will notice that not all of the trees in the area are bent, some are growing straight.  How did this happen?  What do you think?  Why were the trees bent over and who really did it?

Do you have a theory on how the trees wound up like this?  We want to hear what you think.  Please, feel free to share it in the comments section.  

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Hunter lisula permalink
    April 7, 2013 10:03 pm

    A lot of those theories are pretty crazy. But I think it was wait her a big storm or like they said that the tanks rolled over them, and created a 90 degree angle in the tree. I hope that we get to see these trees on our trip and see some other cool things in Poland.

    • April 9, 2013 12:29 am

      They are pretty cool, but unfortunately, they’re a few hundred miles from where we’ll be in Poland. You could say that stinks, but I say it’s just an excuse to travel to Poland again another time.

  2. Meghan Poorman permalink
    April 9, 2013 8:25 pm

    This isn’t exactly a theory but I just wanted to point out that there is only one completley straight tree in those two pictures.

    • April 9, 2013 8:43 pm

      That’s just because we chose pictures that showed the funny looking trees. If you were to look at the whole forest, there’s a lot of straight ones. Good eye, though.

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