You can explore a good bit of the world and still miss some of its most amazing mysteries. From the East to the West, even the tiniest of towns can contain major puzzles to solve for the intrepid globetrotter.

Take, for example, the origins of one eerie forest in Poland. Formed around the beginning of World War II, these bizarre trees have become one of the world’s most obscure and oddly captivating mysteries.

Named the Crooked Forest, this place might sound like something out of a fairy tale, but it’s very, very real…

If you ever venture outside the village of Nowe Czarnowo in Poland, you won’t have to wander very far before you discover one of the greatest mysteries on Earth: the mysterious and extremely strange Crooked Forest.

This strange forest was planted in the 1930s presumably by people who lived nearby. It is made up of 400 trees, which are bent at 90 degrees just above their base, with the curve going back upright after three to nine feet of sideways growth.

These trees all point to the North and bend to make a very specific “J” shape. Tree experts called to examine the trees speculate that their strange shape probably started when they were damaged seven to 10 years after they were planted.

There are many different theories about what could have damaged these trees and made them take this shape. One popular theory is that they were damaged by passing tanks during World War II. What do you think?

Another origin theory for the strange trees is that a heavy snowstorm arrived not long after the trees were planted. The weight of the snow proved to be too much for the trees and caused them to grow abnormally.

While those two explanations might make some sense, there are a few other theories that require one to have a lot of imagination in order to believe in them. The first is that the Crooked Forest has more gravity than other places, and that a special force is pulling the trees down. (Yes, really.)

Yet another possible theory that was suggested is even more outlandish. Believers think that the bent trees are the byproduct of—you guessed it—alien activity. They believe an alien spacecraft simply landed in the area and bent all of the trees.

While there is no way of disproving the idea that aliens crushed the trees, there are other, more reasonable explanations about how this forest came to be so crooked. Not only that, but these seem to be a little bit more plausible than alien activity.

The most popular theory is much easier to swallow. The thinking is that local woodcutters deliberately manipulated the shapes of the trees with the idea of using it for the construction of speciality furniture.

Unfortunately, the onset of World War II put a kink in the timeline for their plan and it was never realized. Whatever the truth may be, the Crooked Forest is made all the more fascinating for its mysterious origins!

What a cool place! It just gives you more reason to travel to Eastern Europe. Who knows what other mysteries are waiting for you in the forest?

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