Type to search

The Mysterious Crooked Forest of Poland

BY Namrata Naha April 20, 2020
Crooked forest.

Crooked forest. (7alaskan / Wikimedia Commons)

The Crooked Forest near Gryfino in Western Poland is a bizarre and eerie woodland formed of a dense grove of potbelly shaped pine trees. A profound mystery surrounds the existence of this forest. The town of Gryfino was majorly devastated in the Second World War and the truth of the forest was lost with it.

Notwithstanding the countless diverse theories contemplated throughout the years, nobody genuinely knows what made the trees assume this distinctive shape.

Morphology of the Crooked Forest

This curious cluster of trees comprises of 400 curved pine trees that bend 90-degree towards the North, a few feet above the ground level. It then swerves upwards with a sideway digression.

 Crooked Forest: Crooked pine trees.

Crooked pine trees. (maxpixel)

Because of their admirable resilience, the trees continued to thrive. Strangely, the forest also envelopes a more expansive growth of straight developing pine trees bereft of the curve distinctive to their siblings.

It is believed that the trees have been planted sometime around the 1930s. Despite their arched beginnings, all the trees have grown quite tall, mostly touching 50 feet, unbridled by their unique C shaped curves.

It is estimated that they were roughly 7 to 10 years old when they encountered some inexplicable force or damage that incurred their odd trunk curvature. This would have happened before the Second World War reaching Poland.

So what could have engendered these trees to display the freakish “C” shape? Heredity? The weather? The War? Or the Local foresters? Here are some of the widely known speculations behind the crooked forest.

Heavy snowstorm

A somewhat more conceivable, yet at the same time genuinely far-fetched hypothesis is that an enormous and destructive snowstorm could have flattened the trees for a prolonged timeframe.

This coupled with an extended spring melt, might have moulded the trees permanently. When the trees experienced a spurt in growth during the spring, a concrete layer of snow might still have existed on the top of their trunks.

In any case, this theory appears to be unlikely as the Crooked Forest also accommodates regular-shaped pine trees as mentioned before. It would in this way be exceptionally abnormal for a snowstorm to have an impact in just one particular territory of the woodland and leaving the rest unscathed.

Enemy tanks mowing down the forest during Second World War

Another mainstream conjecture is that adversary tanks plundered and ploughed through the budding forest and levelled the trees to such a degree that triggered the unusual curvature while growing.

Similarly, in this case as well, one can debate as to why only this particular stretch got affected. It appears to be highly improbable that the traumatic run over by the tanks would outcome such an oddity with uniform bark-covered bellies.

Gryfino was ravaged during the war. When a new power plant came up in Gryfino in the 1970s the town observed a resurgence. The Crooked Forest is found close to this power plant, called the Dolna Odra power plant. This would adequately explain why the vast majority of the locals do not have the foggiest idea as to why the trees look like this.

Erratic gravitational pull

Some theories surmise that the gravitational force fluctuations or a strange gravitational draw in the area might have caused this phenomenon. Yet there is no evidence to endorse this ludicrous theory. The power of gravity pulls down objects. It does not stretch them sideways.

Genetic disorder

Twisted aspen tree

Twisted aspen tree in Saskatchewan, Canada. (Turgan / Wikimedia Commons)

William Remphrey, who was a retired plant scientist from Manitoba University, had discovered a distinctive genetic mutation. This malady caused the striking curvature and drooping of aspen trees in Canada over their years of development, resulting in the formation of twirled and twisted trees.

However, he professed that if the origination of the abnormality of Poland’s Crooked Forest is genetic, he would have expected the curves to extend beyond the base as were observed in the aspen clan. Taking into account the extent to which they are smooth, he stated that some unnatural environmental phantasm might have caused this deformity of sweeping curves.

The man-made angle

The final hypothesis tossed around and appears to have garnered the maximum acceptance is likely the most humdrum of them all. It suggests that the queer curves are nothing but man-made.

This explanation would bode well given the fact that the trees have exhibited a consistent growth. The theory proposes that amid the 1930s, the native farmers took to planting and manipulating the trees to secure their ultimate use as construction materials.

For instance, household items, pieces of furniture or transport carrier building. The foresters might have employed certain tools or techniques to achieve the unmistakable bending.

Oakwood from the territories of Northern Europe was used to manufacture straight and long planking. However, the gnarled Hedgerow Oakwood from England was best utilized as naturally curved timbers to fortify the ship interiors.

crooked trees

Crooked forest trees, Nowe Czarnowo. (Kengi / Wikimedia Commons)

Trees were intentionally bent in specific manners for generating a required arrangement of curved timbers otherwise called the compass timber.

When Poland was invaded during the Second World War, this manufacturing and development activity, in most plausibility would have been disrupted. This kept the farmers from having the capacity to finish their job and deserting the forest, only to be discovered today with its peculiar spectre.

Enjoyed this article? Also, check out “Bristlecone Pine: The Oldest Trees of Our Planet“.

Fact Analysis:
STSTW Media strives to deliver accurate information through careful research. However, things can go wrong. If you find the above article inaccurate or biased, please let us know at [email protected]


Leave a Comment