If it wasn’t the result of careful state planning, this forest would be enough to fuel wild conspiracy theories for years. In the Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan, groups of Japanese cedar trees appear to be arranged in concentric circles, strangely similar to crop circles and it’s not the work of green-thumbed aliens. The formation is actually the result of a meticulous project begun in 1973, centered around forest growth and spacing. The area was designated as “experimental forestry,” with one experiment calling for the planting of trees in 10-degree radial increments to form 10 concentric circles.

45 years later, the trees have grown in a unique convex shape, creating a beautiful formation and proving that tree spacing does indeed affect growth patterns. The trees were originally supposed to be harvested about five years from now, but given the strange pattern, city officials are now considering leaving the trees untouched.

To really appreciate the unique shape, you have to view the forest from above, so take in the mesmerizing formation on Google Earth.

H/T: My Modern Met

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