NewsNot an illusion: Real story of the levitating tree revealed

Not an illusion: Real story of the levitating tree revealed

Why does the tree rise above the ground?
Why does the tree rise above the ground?
Images source: © Facebook

5:04 AM EST, November 28, 2023

A photo of a tree apparently hovering above the ground has stimulated avid discussions on social media. For the past few weeks, people have been deliberating whether they're dealing with an edited photo or a unique phenomenon. The truth, as it turns out, is far more ordinary.

The post by the regional forestry office of Soest-Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia created quite a buzz on the internet. The image of the tree seemingly levitating attracted thousands of reactions and comments, with netizens earnestly trying to decipher the photo's mystery.

The floating spruce mystery

The German foresters faced accusations of editing the photo. Many commentators argued that the tree was just a fabrication intended to stir up a sensation.

"What you see here is NOT an edited photo! These are floating spruces, a phenomenon that only occurs in our region!" - the photo caption read.

After much speculation, it was confirmed that the photo was not edited. However, it doesn't represent a unique phenomenon specific to North Rhine either. The truth is surprisingly simple and ordinary.

The spruce is real and it is indeed hovering above the ground. A few years ago, there were attempts to fell the tree, but it was discovered that its upper part had become intertwined with a neighboring tree. The branches merged and the spruce survived because of this unique arrangement.

"This combination, where the top continues to grow while the bottom stands detached, is probably unique," Agnes Wasmer from the regional forestry office of WDR explained in mid-October.

The merging of branches with another tree is fairly common. However, what makes this case unique is that one spruce is keeping another spruce alive. The 'hanging' tree remains alive and, despite being cut, appears to continue growing normally.

Related content