The unique shape of this forest in Japan has been drawing attention from around the world.
In the Miyazaki Prefecture of southern Japan on an airplane, a recent aerial photo spotted some mysterious concentric ‘crop’ circles of Japanese cedar trees swell toward the sky, creating a unique visual effect. It left people all around the world wondering just how they were formed.
Many thought the picturesque natural formations were the results of an alien invasion, but no, they are rather part of a plan conceived nearly 50 years ago. A document by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries explains that what you see is due to a 1973 project targeting growth and tree spacing. The area was designated as “experimental forestry,” with one experiment involving researchers planting trees in 10 degree radial increments to form 10 concentric circles.
What is visible today – even on Google Earth – are the results after 45 years. Interestingly, the trees also grew in a convex shape, fanning out into the forest and showing that spacing does have unexpected results on growth. The original plan called for the trees to be harvested in 5 years, but given the new interest, officials are actually considering saving the circular forest.