The Crooked Forest, Poland

Blending science fiction and ecological abnormality, a group of 400 trees in Poland’s Krzywy Las or “Crooked Forest,” are mysteriously bent. The trees strangely buckle out at 90 degrees and form an odd J-shape with a potbelly hovering just above the ground. The trees are also neatly organized, with all their crooks pointing northward.
No one knows how the trees took such unique shape and formation and the stories about them range from feasible to outlandish. The most compelling origin theory is that the trees had been buried under heavy snow in their infancy. However, others believe that the trunks were altered by the area's gravitational pull.
One explanation suggests that foresters shaped the trees after planting them in 1925-1928. Apparently, they wanted to create furniture from bent shapes and bent the trees at 10 years old. By denying the tress vertical growth, the foresters severely stunted their growth. The trees were likely abandoned following the start of WWII in 1939, leaving a lasting ecological mark for decades to come.
Strangely, every single tree in the Crooked Forest has the same hook-shaped bend and tall stature despite whatever earlier forces distorted them. The trees continued to thrive, relying on the one branch they had left to perform the job of all other lost branches to sustain itself. Whatever damage occurred, it must have occurred to every single tree, for each tree has the same distorted features. Thanks to the abandonment of the area by settlers in WWII, the world may never know how the trees got to be this way.
Photographer: Artur Strzelczyk