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The Dancing Forest of Kaliningrad

The Dancing Forest of Kaliningrad

The Dancing Forest (or the Drunk Forest, as it is sometimes known) is located in Curonian Spit National Park in Kaliningrad, Russia. Made up of pine trees, the forest is unusual due to the twisted shape of the trees. Many have grown into knots, loops, circles and spirals along the ground.

A few years ago, the park manager invited students from local universities to come and study the trees to find out what caused their strange shape. However the mystery remains, although there are a few theories. A psychic once suggested that the forest is situated in an area where huge amounts of positive and negative energies collide, causing the trees to grow in this odd fashion.

Others suggest that the cause must be geological, blaming sandy and unstable soil. The most widely accepted view is that the growing trees were manipulated by strong winds that regularly blow in that area. Of course, there are the old legends too, one of which is about the Prussian prince Barty. While hunting in the forest one day, he heard a wonderful tune. Eventually, he found a beautiful girl sitting in a clearing playing the lyre. The prince proposed to her but she said she would only marry a man of her Christian faith.

The prince agreed to convert but only if she could show him the power of her god. As the beautiful girl started to play her lyre again the birds stopped tweeting and the trees started to dance. The prince immediately took off his bracelet and gave it to the girl as a sign of their betrothal. It was on this spot that the dancing forest grew years later. If you pay the forest a visit (with your travel insurance in place naturally) make sure you climb through one of the tree loops, and as you do, make a wish!