A peculiar patch of forest in Poland has proven to be an enduring mystery as scientists still cannot explain why the trees are bent 90 degrees.
Known as the 'Crooked Forest,' the baffling landmark consists of an astounding 400 pine trees that boast the odd shape.
It is believed that the trees were planted in the 1930's, however the ravages of World War II largely destroyed the town of Gryfino which hosts the odd forest.
Therefore, no one is quite sure about the true history of the site and what may have caused the trees to bend.
Much like many environmental issues, debate over the origins of the forest come down to two camps: natural versus manmade.
Proponents of the human-caused theory suggest that the trees were purposely shaped that way so that the wood could be used for building boats, but the site was never harvested because of the war.
However, a plant scientist from Canada named William Remphrey expressed skepticism about this explanation to the New York Times because there are so many bent trees at the site and such tree manipulation was rarely practiced in Europe.
"I would proceed with caution concluding it being human-caused, even though that is a definite possibility," he told the Times.
Since Remphrey is credited with discovering a genetic abnormality which caused curves in aspen trees found in Canada, one might suspect that he'd advocate for that solution.
Surprisingly, though, Remphrey argued that the Crooked Forest probably isn't a mutation since the trees only sport one curve rather than a series of twists and turns.
Beyond those two possibilities, the hypothesis that the trees were bent by a weather event like heavy snow is also troublesome since the Crooked Forest is an anomaly within a much larger patch of wilderness.
As such, scientists remain baffled by the strange forest that continues to defy explanation.
Should the mystery ever be solved, Remphrey shared some wisdom from his earlier achievement and mused to the Times that "even after I was able to explain the crookedness with a scientific basis, many people did not want to believe it and held onto to their far-out theories."
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Source: NY Times