This Mysterious Forest Breathes... And The Internet Is Mesmerised

Over the last few days, there have been rumors about a strange video published on social networks. Images captured in Canada show the ground of a forest rising, then slowly contracting, as though the depths of the earth were breathing... A rather irrational theory among many others, behind which there is actually a logical explanation.

While forests are sometimes wrongly called "the lungs of the planet", they had never before visually demonstrated such power... Until now; that is, if you believe what you see in this video, which is both strange and impressive. The video was captured in a forest in Sacré-Coeur, Quebec, at the beginning of the month. 

A deep inhale, followed by an equally intense exhale, visible through the expansion and contraction of the forest floor. A disturbing scene that is reminiscent of an animal breathing. Inevitably, it did not take long for it to spread on social networks, bringing forth many more or less far-fetched theories... 

A paranormal phenomenon...? 

An incarnation of Morla - the giant turtle in The Neverending Story, lurking in the Swamp of Sadness-, a manifestation of the Ents - spirits of the forest that live in Middle-earth in Tolkien's works - ... So many odd explanations carried forward by Internet users. Unfortunately for science fiction fans, the truth couldn't be more... simple! The real explanation is largely due to the nature of the soil. 

'During a stormy and rainy episode, the soil becomes saturated, which causes a loosening of its cohesion with the roots of trees, while the wind blows in their peaks. The wind comes close to toppling the trees, and as that force is transmitted to the roots, the soil begins to rise,' Shady Lane Expert Tree Care (in Ontario, Canada) affiliate Mark Vanderwouw revealed in 2012 on The Weather Network.  

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This very real mechanical process is, therefore, not at all supernatural, as another specialist, Mark Sirois of the Quebec Severe Weather Network, confirmed to Time: 'When we look at the trees in the background, it is clear that the winds were very powerful.'

This case is far from unique 

Dozens of similar videos testify to the same type of phenomenon. This case is thus far from being unique, and can even sometimes end more catastrophically. 'If the winds are strong enough, and last long enough, [some] roots may start to break and trees may eventually topple over,' says Mark Vanderwouw. In the end, it isn't much more reassuring than to imagine what some Internet users believed they saw - 'just' a monster lurking in the woods...

Ruby Smith
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