We often think of our planet as a living being, with its vibrant oceans and rivers, and so much much wonderful flora and fauna.
But does earth actually breathe?
The accompanying footage, showing heaving motions on the forest floor similar in their repetitiveness to human breaths, was captured on Oct. 30 in Apple River, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Brian Nuttall posted the footage to Facebook on Halloween, fittingly, and it’s still being widely shared and generating headlines.
From the outset viewers expressed sentiments ranging from disbelief to bewilderment.
“Scary as Hell,” screams the headline atop one report about the eerie phenomenon.
“Mother Earth Breathes: Watch Eerie Video of Forest Ground Moving in Canada,” reads another headline.
People in the comments section of the original post were equally perplexed, demanding an explanation.
But it turns out the explanation is reasonably simple. The heaving earth was caused by a vast system of tree roots no longer securely moored deeply in the ground. They were rising and lifting as the trees blew in the wind.
Nuttall explained in a comment that a strong westerly wind blew as he walked through the clearing of an area that was logged a few years ago.
“As I entered a patch of trees spared from clear cutting, I noticed the ground moving,” Nuttall wrote. “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.
“I feel the tees didn’t grow deep, strong roots as they wouldn’t be needed when surrounded by a forest, sheltered with strength in numbers unlike a tree found alone in a pasture.”
People were glad to see an explanation. Nuttall’s comment, through Wednesday afternoon, had been “liked” more than 650 times.
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