Nova Scotia·Video

Incredible video shows wind heaving forest floor like breathing giant

A video of a forest carpet in Nova Scotia breathing like a snoozing giant is getting a lot of attention online.

Video from Apple River, N.S., has been viewed more than 3 million times online

Trees 'breathe' under forest floor

7 years ago
Duration 1:36
What lies underneath the forest floor?

A video of a forest carpet in Nova Scotia breathing like a snoozing giant is getting a lot of attention online. 

Brian Nuttall was out for a walk on a breezy Oct. 30 in Apple River, Cumberland County, when he came across an unusual sight and pulled out his cellphone. 

In the video, the forest floor heaves like it is breathing. The video has garnered more than three million views from online spectators. 

However, what's really going on is less mystical — but no less dramatic. Tree roots, spread out wide underneath the forest floor have detached from their moorings. The root systems heave under the ground when the trees are caught by wind, making them appear to "breathe." 

"As I entered a patch of trees spared from clear cutting, I noticed the ground moving," Nuttall said in a Facebook post. "I believe the larger trees are doomed to blow down but are currently spared, the smaller trees around them help hold each other up, as the wind pushes the trees into one another.

"The punishing prevailing winds have taken their toll on the side hill, the roots have loosened and the mossy ground from the once shaded forest floor are giving way, soon to be toppled over."

It's likely only a matter of time before the wind wins out and the trees fall.


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