On this beautiful vibrant earth there are so many natural treasures we take for granted. You’d be surprised to know that places reminiscent on the silver screen such as Avatar’s Pandora and Lord of The Ring’s Shire are taken from actual forests around the world. These forests' can be wide and sprawling, yet stunning and terrifying at the same time.
Imagine a forest encompassed with razor-sharp rocks taller than the trees, or the nameless forest where few people have dared to venture, or the tropical rainforest in South America where parts of the floor is in permanent darkness and where no one knows what truly hides. These are forests shrouded in mystery, covered in vibrant green moss, lush ferns, and thick with lichens where you’ll find ancient trees, some gnarled, twisted and over 150 feet tall.
These 20 eerie, yet enchanted forests are worth exploring. From the UFO-like tops of trees in the Dragon’s Blood Forest to the bowed-like trees in the Crooked Forest, here are the most 20 most beautiful but eerie forest around the world.
20 Dragon's Blood Forest, Yemen
Dragon's Blood Forest in Socotra, Yemen is one of the most unusual forests in the world. The forest is known for its Dragon Blood trees, which look more like flying saucers, with their umbrella-shaped canopies than the usual oak you'll find while walking through a forest. Besides their UFO-like tops, these eerie trees also have gnarled limbs and bright red sap, which is why they earned the name Dragon's Blood. According to Globaltrees.org, these trees are becoming extremely vulnerable as the island becomes more arid thanks to climate change. Dragon's Blood trees "can expect to lose 45 percent of its potential habitat by 2080. Unless major steps are taken to mitigate climate change soon, the future of Socotra’s iconic and ancient Dragon tree — along with countless other species around the world — is very much in doubt."
19 Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica is a nearly 26,000-acre region that is known for its biodiversity. In fact, you'll find four different life zones and this draws in numerous types of plants and wildlife. The forest has over 100 kinds of mammals, 500 types of birds, and 120 amphibians and reptiles. It is also known for its 500 species of orchid, which is the highest diversity of orchids in the world. Cloud Forests cover just one percent of global woodlands. According to Monteverde Travel Guide, "these rare forests occur within tropical or subtropical mountainous environments, where the atmospheric conditions allow for a consistent cover of clouds."
18 The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil And Peru
At least ten percent of the world's biodiversity is nestled in the Amazon Rainforest which spans in large parts of Brazil and Peru, with portions also in Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. The Amazon is also known as the largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world, covering a whopping 5.5 million square kilometers, with many parts of this forest still inaccessible to humans. This area of Earth's natural wonder is often given the nickname "the lungs of the Earth' because the rich vegetation takes carbon dioxide out of the air, and release oxygen back in. What makes this forest eerie is that because of the thickness of the canopy, the Amazon floor is in permanent darkness.
17 Crooked Forest, Poland
No one knows how these oddly shaped trees in the Crooked Forest in Poland became this way. There are around 400 trees in the forest that have all adapted to this conformation. The forest is located outside Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland, and its trees are what draw people to come to this unusual forest. It's stated that these trees where planted in the 1930s and every one of them grows with a 90-degree bend at their base with most of them bent northward. There are a number of theories about how these trees got their weird shape. One theory is that fluctuation in gradational force or some sort of gravitational pull in the area caused the trees to bend. Another theory states that heavy snow may have flattened the trees for a long period of time while they were still saplings.
16 Hallerbos, Belgium
Nicknamed the psychedelic purple forest, the Hallerbos Forest in Belgium is unlike any other forest in the world. The forest is a nature lovers dream, with its beautiful yet eerie purple carpet of bluebells, which bloom around mid-April. The forest floor looks like it is straight out of a fairytale and the giant Sequoia trees also makes this forest wonderfully enchanting. The Hallerbos Forest is also known as 'The Blue Forest' with its millions of hyacinths, where travelers will find winding paths with views of miles and miles of these flowers carpeting the forest floor. For even more mesmerizing views of this forest, when the birch trees begin to sprout their leaves, the area begins to darken, which when added with fog can make this forest even more stunning.
15 Goblin Forest, New Zealand
The Goblin Forest in New Zealand looks like something from a fantasy film or something out of Lord of the Rings, with trees growing through and around existing trees, hanging mosses and ferns everywhere you go. The Goblin Forest is also known as the Kamahi Walk, since there are mostly kamahi trees here, which begin life perched on top of trunks of other trees. Another unique aspect of this forest and popular excursion is the walk to Wilkies Pools, where you'll find numerous natural plunge pools. Walking around this forest, its easy for your imagination to run wild.
14 Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada
The Great Bear Rainforest is considered one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth with stunning waterfalls, gigantic cedar trees, long and narrow fjords, and 4,000-foot granite cliffs that will make your jaw drop. There are also a plethora of animals that call this rainforest home, including wolves, whales, sea otters and the rare, cream-colored Kermode bear. The forest stretches for more than 250-miles along the coast of British Columbia and is sometimes referred to the Amazon of the North. You'll find 1,000 year old cedar trees, waterfalls cascading off the sides of mountains and beautiful dark waters.
13 Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is home to massive 2,000 year-old, 300 feet-tall trees that are truly stunning. Located along the scenic Avenue of the Giants the park is the largest redwood state park in California. The trees here have never been logged so you'll find yourself among ancient old-growth coastal redwoods, which are the largest remaining contiguous old-growth redwoods in the world. Standing among these trees that are thousands of years old is awe-inspiring. There are approximately 17,000 acres of these ancient trees in the state park, where you'll also find numerous hiking trails, beaches and just overall natural beauty.
12 Moss Swamp, Romania
Romania has numerous forests and majestic mountains, but this moss swamp is truly a wonder and a mystery. There isn't an exact name for this forest area and it's also not that simple to locate this swamp forest. The country is home to incredible forests from the Cozia Forest with precious flora and fauna to the Nera Springs Forest, which is one of Romania's virgin forests and among one of the last in Europe. Romania may not be everyone's must go-to vacation, but if you are a nature lover and love to explore, you must try and visit this natural wonder and a few forests that have never been touched by mankind with century old trees.
11 Otzarreta Forest, Spain
Otzarreta Forest in the Basque country's Gorbea National Park is an enchanting forest with mossy trees and surfaces. Mixed with the foggy atmosphere and ancient trees, this forest can seem a little ghostly and mysterious. The forest is small, with around 100 trees, but it is one of the most photogenic parts of Gorbea National Park, so have a camera ready if you ever make your way here. The forest's natural landscape, made up of running brooks and scattered leaves is eerie but can also be enchanting, especially when fog makes its way to this part of the park.
10 Tongass National Forest, Alaska
Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is the largest national forest in the United States with a whopping 16.7 million acres. Like other forests that we have mentioned before, the Tongass Forest has trees that are over 1,000 years old. Many animals call this place home, including five species of salmon, brown and black bears, bald eagles, mountain goats, and wolves. To see the beautiful lush areas of this forest, hike the 6.7-mile Deer Mountain Trail, which can be challenging. The vast forest is breathtaking, vibrant with moss and fern covering the grounds and canopies consisting of towering hemlock, spruce and yellow cedar.
9 Chinese Hemlock Trail, Taiwan
You'll feel like you're entering an ancient forest when hiking along the Chinese Hemlock Trail in Taiwan. The trail starts from Taipingshan Forest Park and while you walk through this pristine forest and wet land you'll be among Hemlock trees that are over 1,000 years old and ground covered in moss. The trail is neat, so you'll have no trouble walking along the route; however, fog and clouds make this forest feel a little more eerie. Trees covered in moss and lichens will make you feel like you've traveled to a different world. At the end of this trail there are ancient wood tracks where you can see a sea of clouds. It's a relaxing and quiet trail that you'll enjoy when you want to immerse yourself in nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city.
8 Tsingy Forest, Madagascar
Tsingy Forest is the world's largest stone forest and is located in western Madagascar. This unique forest of razor-sharp vertical rocks that look like spiked towers, were created by tropical rain that eroded the rocks. It is truly a wonder that this exists on our planet, and believe it or not, a number of wildlife call this forest home, including eleven types of lemur, which you can see clinging to the tops of these sharp rocks. The name 'Tsingy' literally translates to 'where one cannot walk,' because of how risky it is to be around these sharp rock formations. Explorers, who have a love for adrenaline, would scale these limestone razor-sharp rocks and overlook the 230-square miles of rock.
7 Mossy Forest, Malaysia
The Mossy Forest is located in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands where the forest is covered in moss, ferns, lichen and orchids thanks to low-level clouds blanketing this forest giving off moisture and mist. This natural environment only happens in the highest elevations of the Cameron Highlands and where you'll find the Mossy Forest, a moist tropical evergreen forest. It is a spectacular forest with boardwalks built for visitors to walk right through it and discover a sea of green and even spot small creatures like insects, frogs, snakes and birds that have adapted to a cool atmosphere. During the walk, visitors can also see the peak of Gunug Brinchang, the second highest mountain in Cameron Highlands.
6 Yakushima Forest, Japan
Japan's Yakushima Forest is enchanting with areas that easily resemble something from a movie. The forest is lush with moss-covered roots of Yakusugi trees that have been in this woodland for almost 7,000 years. Yakushima is an island 37 miles south of the southernmost point of the Japanese island of Kyushu where you'll find this fairy-tale forest that's isolated and has a diverse ecosystem, ranging from subtropical lowlands, to cool temperate highlands, where it could even snow. Visitors must take a ferry to get to the island, and there are numerous walking trails where people will see a wonderful forest of green that goes on for miles. While there, visitors might even spot macaque monkeys and spotted white sika deer.
5 Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to some of the oldest trees in the world. The bristlecone pines, which feature gnarled growth forms and unusual twists reach over 4,500 years-old and have the ability to survive in the harsh and high alpine environment found 10,000 feet in the California's highlands. The landscape is truly one-of-a-kind with jaw dropping views of the Sierra Nevada Crest. These trees are quite eerie, with their bizarre formations; however, the bristlecone pines display one of nature's greatest examples of species diversity. Each trees is different and visitors are welcomed to see these stunning trees and the area.
4 Daintree Rainforest, Australia
The Daintree Rainforest is estimated to be 180 million years old, making it more than twice the age of the Amazon Rainforest. The forest is located north of Brisbane in Australia and stretches 460 square miles and is the largest continuous tropical rainforest in Australia. The rainforest is a prehistoric wonder with ancient ferns and lush canopy, which you can walk through and you'll feel like you're walking through a mystical jungle. The rainforest was even the inspiration for the famous film Avatar. There are many ways to explore the Daintree Rainforest. Visitors can take a guided night walk through the jungle looking for wildlife, cruise the Daintree River, or even zip-line through the rainforest canopy.
3 Białowieża Forest, Poland And Belarus
The Białowieża Forest is one of Europe's most important forests because not only is it the best-preserved forest ecosystem's, it is sadly also the last old-growth forest and primeval forests in Europe with a unique variety of flora and fauna. Wolves, lynxes, and Europe’s largest mammal, the bison, inhabit the forest. In fact, the forest is home to the world's largest population of the European bison. It's easy to explore this majestic area, where you'll see century old oaks, elm and lime trees and several rare species of birds. In the Middle Ages, kings and tsars used this forest as hunting grounds, but in 1979, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2 Waipoua Forest, New Zealand
The Waipoua Forest is one of the most famous kauri forests in New Zealand. The forest is an ancient world of greenery, towering trees and has a variety of rare species of birds. The oldest tree in this forest is called the Tāne Mahuta, or “Lord of the Forest" with an estimated age of 2,300 years-old and standing at a whopping 150 feet tall. Even getting to the Waipua Forest is memorable as well with natural gateways created by these massive kauri trees with plenty of colorful ferns along the way. You won't ever spot a tree this immense and thankfully, this forest was designated a sanctuary in the 1950s and has since been left undamaged.
1 Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
The century old trees that line both sides of a dirt road and are really some of the most unique trees you'll ever see. This dirt road linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina in Madagascar is lined with these rare baobabs trees with most of them more than 800-years-old. Sadly, there was massive deforestation in the area, but a few of these special and ancient trees remained. Unlike most trees, the baobabs are extremely useful, their trunks are tapped for water during dry seasons, and have even been lived in, and when reachable, their young leaves are eaten as a salad vegetable. Even there hard-shelled fruits are made into tasty summertime drinks all over Africa.