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Breathing ground in Nova Scotia

Wind causes Nova Scotia forest to start 'breathing'


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 3:43 PM - A video taken in Apple River, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia has become an internet sensation. In the video, strong winds push and pull at the forest floor, making it look like it's 'breathing'.

Forests don't breathe per se, but the trees in them breathe by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in a process called photosynthesis. Unlike humans, this process doesn't involve inhaling and exhaling -- which is exactly what the forest floor in this video appears to be doing.

The above video was shot by Ben Nuttall, who noticed the strange sight while he was out for a walk.

This isn't the first time The Weather Network has come across a 'breathing' tree.

In September, 2012, Weather Network viewer Tonie from Fort St. John, B.C. sent us a similar video, featuring a tree with roots that appeared to be heaving under the Earth.

Mark Vanderwouw, a certified arborist at Shady Lane Expert Tree Care in Newmarket, Ontario, told us at the time this is an optical illusion has nothing to do with actual 'breathing' and everything to do with the weather.

"During a rain and windstorm event the ground becomes saturated, 'loosening' the soil's cohesion with the roots as the wind is blowing on a tree's crown," he said.

"The wind is trying to 'push' the trees over, and as the force is transferred to the roots, the ground begins to 'heave'. If the winds were strong enough and lasted long enough more roots would start to break and eventually some of the trees would topple."

Nuttall's video was uploaded to Facebook earlier this month. Since then it's picked up close to 3 million views.

Do you have an incredible image or photo? Send it to The Weather Network. We'd love to feature your work on TV and our website.

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