Forest getaways are preferred by most of us. While travelling to a forest area, we generally expect to see a lot of trees, wildlife and birds, sometimes water bodies too. But there are forests in the world that are very different form this general perception. Here are 8 most unique forests of the world
Bamboo Forest in Maui’s Pipiwai Trail, Hawaii , US
If you are looking for a tropical holiday destination, where Nature unfurls herself in all her glory, the best place for you is definitely Maui in Hawaii. It is a place where the visitor is greeted by spectacular natural sceneries all around. Nature seems to have poured her heart out at Maui – often lovingly referred to by the visitors as “The Magic Isle”. Every visitor to Maui can have his or her own reason to fall in love with Maui. Among its varied attractions is the Bamboo Forest, which, to put it simply, is awesome, spectacular and marvellous. To get to the Bamboo Forest one has to hike for about a mile. However, once there, one is sure to realize why the visitors are left spellbound. As far as vision goes, there are these thick, dense groupings of bamboo stalks. Looking up, one can see innumerable bamboo stalks, towering high towards the heaven whispering and dancing in the breeze. Being in the midst of the bamboo forest, where the grasses are extremely tall, a feeling is likely to creep in that you are just a tiny ant in the midst of these enormously tall grass blades.
The Dancing Forest, Kaliningrad, Russia
If you happen to be in the vicinity of Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea area, then be prepared to witness and have close encounters with a unique natural phenomenon in our planet – the Dancing Forest at the Curonion Spit National Park. The local people here rather like to call it the Drunken Forest. It is a rare kind of pine forest made up of trees of various shapes and sizes, most of which are bent in circles and spirals along the ground, reminding one of dance movements. If examined at close quarters, one will notice that almost every tree has got its own distinct shape. Unlike the case with Japanese Bonsais the trees here have not been forced to alter their shapes and sizes. It is a pure natural occurrence; a wonder weaved by Mother Nature. The unusual characteristics of this one-of-its-kind and unique forest has been generating considerable amount of interest among the people engaged in scientific studies and research. Many curious people make a beeline to Kaliningrad to try and unravel the mysteries behind the queer phenomenon. And the theories forwarded by various groups of people multiply with time, so does the curiosity about the Dancing forest.
The Crooked Forest, Poland
In the north western part of Poland lies a pine forest, another one-of-its-kind forest. The Crooked Forest consists of a grove of peculiarly shaped pine trees that have grown with a bent of ninety degrees at the base of the trunks. What is also unique is that somehow all the trees are uniformly bent northward. This group of about 400 crooked trees are surrounded by a much larger forest of straight growing pine trees. It is believed that the crooked trees were planted around 1930 when this Polish region was under German occupation and the area was a part of the German province of Pomerania. The bent shape of these 400 trees is believed not to be a natural phenomenon, but the result of direct human intervention. The exact motive, as to why anybody would want to give bent shapes to otherwise normal and straight growing palm trees, remains an eternal mystery. Many have conjectured that in all probability, these crooked trees were harvested with the idea of providing tools for bent wood furniture, the ribs of boat hulls, yokes for horse drawn ploughs and so on. But these are mere speculations. The exact reason still remains shrouded in mystery.
Petrified Forest Nati onal Park, Arizona, Us
The Petrified Forest National Park in the USA is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Over 400 varieties of plants can be found, the various grass varieties being the most conspicuous. The Fauna include a variety of large and small animals. Apart from the flora and fauna the forest area also harbours over 200 varieties of avifauna, some of which are local, and some of which are migratory. More than half of the park is designated wilderness. These apart an interesting factor about the forest is that it contains 225 million-year-old fossilized remains of dinosaurs, amphibians and large reptiles. The area was originally a floodplain, and the forests were washed into it and engulfed by volcanic ash and tilt, which slowed down the decaying process. This extraordinary forest has generated considerable amount of interest among various scientists. The Rainbow Forest Museum has a splendid collection of fossils, including dinosaurs, from the Triassic era, and all through the area there are amazing examples of rock art, carved by early inhabitants, depicting birds, reptiles, animals and even human forms. In fact research indicates a human presence here for about two thousand years.
Fossil Forest, West Lulw orth , Dorset, England
Those who wonder about conditions prevailing in earth in Upper Jurassic period should head straight for the Fossil Forest located to the east of Lulworth Cove on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. The remains of an ancient forest of the Jurassic period here provide intriguing understanding into the conditions prevalent about 135 million years ago. The trees here belonged to late Jurassic or early Cretaceous period and are of cypress or juniper type. It lies on Jurassic Coast on a wide ledge in the cliff by the seaside and is within Lulworth Military Range and thus has limited access. Portions of it can also be seen on Isle of Portland and in quarries near Weymouth. On the ledge one finds some ring-shaped structures, believed to be moulds of coniferous trees that died because of encasement in sediment. At the time of death, the trees stood upright and as a result, vertical moulds formed. Few fallen trees around have resulted in horizontal moulds. It is believed that at the end of the Jurassic period, when sea level came down, a number of islands encircled by lagoons were formed here. In course of time a tropical forest grew. When the lagoon flooded, the forest was filled with sediments resulting in today’s Fossil forest.
The Stone Forest, Bulgaria
The Stone Forest in Bulgaria is unique in the true sense of the word. It is a rare natural geological phenomenon not to be found anywhere else in the world. The forest is situated around 18 km inland from Varna in Bulgaria. The forest is easily accessible by road and can be chanced upon just off the main road to the capital of Sofia at the Pashovi area. It is also known as the “Pobiti Kamani”, which literally means the “hammered stones”, although it is often translated as the fossil forest or the stone forest. It brings to visitors a wondrous natural phenomenon. The area is full of trees made of stone, quite a remarkable thing! Exactly how these unique stone trees came into being is a matter still much debated. The first in-depth study of the Fossil Forest was commissioned in 1828 by the Russian General Dibich, who became fascinated with these stones and their potential origins. Whatever the case may be the fact remains that these trees are truly magnificent. A visit to this forest can be truly overwhelming. It will, without any doubt, provide a visitor with an “out of this world” experience.
Grizedale Forest, England
A popular tourist destination in England, Grizedale is managed by the Forestry Commission. Located in the Lake District of north-west England, near Hawkshead, the Forest area here is ideal for a day out with family. Perfectly way-marked footpaths and biking trails beckon tourists to go for long walks and bike rides which lead them to serene locations with majestic views across the fells. In fact, walking is the best way to explore the beautiful woodlands here which is spread over 2000 hecters. With spectacular views of lakes and mountains, shelter of the trees and the sculptures in the forests to explore, there will never be a dull moment during a walk. The area is a beautiful combination of pine forests and woodlands. During walks and bike trails, one should keep a look out for the outdoor sculptures, which Grizedale is famous for. It is reported that there are about sixty such sculptures all over the forest, spread all over the forest roads, bridleways and the way-marked trails. Those who are more adventurous, may opt for “Go Ape”, an award winning high wire forest adventure course of extreme rope bridges, Tarzan swings and Zip slides.
Yellowwood State Forest, Us
Brown County is Indiana’s largest state park and attracts about five million visitors annually. It is located amidst the picturesque hill surroundings of southern Indiana. The Brown County is also home to the Yellowwood State Forest which derives its name from the yellowwood, a tree which is not so randomly found in the U.S. The forest reserve established way back in the 1930s, has, over the years, been the focus of attention for an unsolved mystery. It all started a few years ago when a hunter scouting through the forest discovered a large boulder right at the top of an eighty feet tall chestnut oak tree. The boulder, about four feet wide and a foot thick, seemed to be trapped between the branches. The boulder was ultimately named Gobbler’s Rock, after the turkey hunter who discovered it. However, what is remarkable is that hikers have found more of these giant sandstone heavy boulders precariously lodged between the branches of trees here. Two such boulders which have been discovered recently seems to weigh around 200 pounds, one of the boulders is way up and nearly 45 feet off the ground. Among the locals, the boulders are popularly known as URBs (Unexplained Resting Boulders).