Nature’s art

 

 

Ever since I, as a young man, was fooled twice by the same tree stump, into believing that I had encountered a marten, I have made it a sport, during nature walks, to try to spot objects, rock formations, markings on rocks, etc., which resemble something – a famous person, an animal, a super-natural being, or other. Use your imagination on your next hike – and your trip may have a new dimension!

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Morning sun illuminates an eroded rock, resembling the head of a sleeping giant, Joshua Tree National Park, Mohave Desert, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Another formation in Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock – a descriptive name of this eroded rock. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Goldeneye in stone Sweden_resize
This piece of broken sandstone from the island of Öland, Sweden, forms the perfect image of the head of a goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica-2
Sap, oozing out of a cut tree fern leaf, resembles the head of an anteater, Santa Elena Cloud Forest, Cordillera de Tilarán, Costa Rica. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Minerals, forming an image of a gull’s head in a rock, Cirque de Gavarnie, Pyrenees, France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The parasol-leaf tree (Macaranga tanarius), also called heart leaf or nasturtium tree, belongs to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It is native to eastern China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and eastern Australia.

 

 

Heart in front of a heart – two leaves of parasol-leaf tree. This picture is from Taiwan, where this species is very common. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Elephant seals derive their name from their great size, and also from the male’s large, inflatable proboscis, with which he makes loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season.

These giant beasts were once on the brink of extinction. Read more on the page Folly of Man.

 

 

This large red beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris) resembles the head of a male elephant seal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Sweet cherry (Prunus avium) is very common in most regions of Europe. It is dealt with in detail on the page Plants: Plants in folklore and poetry.

 

 

Fyn 1967-2004
Fyn 2010-18
Two knots on the trunk of this old cherry tree in Denmark, and a wound in the bark beneath them, cause it to resemble a large-eyed alien with a pouting mouth (top). Fourteen years later, further erosion of the tree has adorned this ‘alien’ with a trunk-like nose (bottom). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

When Judy cut this guava fruit (Psidium guajava) in half, this happy face emerged, where seeds are forming eyes, nostrils, and a mouth with a licking tongue. We did not manipulate the seeds! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Tyrkiet 2018
An ogre with grimacing mouth and flat boxer’s nose, wearing a pointed hood, is seen in the right part of this tree stump in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Balanced Rock is a pre-Columbian dolmen at North Salem, New York State, consisting of a 90-ton granite boulder, balancing atop several slabs of granular quartz. Geologists have labeled it an accidental glacial erratic, but it sits precisely over a major magnetic anomaly, and brilliant golf-ball sized lights have repeatedly been photographed circling it.

Such structures show links with electro-magnetic energies and increased crop production. Read about this interesting theory on the page Books – Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith-Builders.

 

 

USA 2012a
From this angle, Balanced Rock resembles the head of a turtle. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Dancing man, wearing a spiny mask? – No, a withered common thorn-apple (Datura stramonium) with fruits. To the left a cultivated species of comfrey (Symphytum). – Funen, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Jylland 1996-99
The trunk of this tree in central Jutland, Denmark, divided into two at an early stage, but maybe they couldn’t do without each other? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Friendly face in a dried-out pomelo (Citrus maxima), Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The incredibly narrow Antelope Canyon, Arizona, United States, has been eroded down into the Colorado Plateau by flash floods – a process, which has taken place over millions of years.

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Arizona-Utah 2001
These formations in the canyon wall in Antelope Canyon resemble a baboon’s face (top) and a lion’s head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Vorsø 1975-87
In severe winters, each falling tide leaves a thin layer of frozen saltwater on emerging stones. The following rising tide will press this layer outwards, leaving a new thin layer of ice inside the previous layer. In this way, several rising and falling tides create a ’flower’ with delicate ice petals. – Horsens Fjord, Denmark. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Vorsø 1975-87
Vorsø 1975-87
Other ice sculptures, formed around stones in shallow water, Horsens Fjord. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Angled luffa (Luffa acutangula), also called ridged gourd, sponge gourd and many other names, is a native of Tropical Asia, where it is also widely cultivated. Young fruits are cooked as a vegetable, or pickled, while the fibres inside mature fruits are used as a sponge or for making hats. The species is also utilized in traditional folk medicine. The seeds are emetic and purgative, and they are eaten to expel intestinal worms. Fruit and seeds are also used in treatment of venereal diseases, especially gonorrhea.

 

 

Luffa acutangula_resize
Taiwan 2017a
These two pictures show cross-sections of the dried interior fibrous layer of angled luffa fruits, with air channels, which resemble a toothed monster (top) and a sad face. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

In former days, poplars (Populus) were often planted along roads and between fields, as they would provide people with branches for countless purposes. This repeated pruning often kept the poplars low and gnarled. Today, the poplars are often pruned to keep them low, as high poplars often break during storms and can be a hazard to traffic. Details of old, stunted poplars often resemble monsters or other images.

More pictures of ancient, gnarled trees may be seen on the page Plants: Ancient and giant trees.

 

 

Fyn 1967-2004
Pruned poplars in morning sun, Lyø, Funen, Denmark. The one in front resembles a gaping monster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Jylland 1967-76
This thick branch of a formerly pruned Canadian poplar (Populus x canadensis) overhangs a road in Jutland, resembling – yes, what do you think? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 
Balsams (Impatiens) are widely distributed in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and in montane areas of the Tropics. This large genus has attractive flowers of a unique structure, having 3 or 5 sepals, of which the lower one is greatly enlarged to form a pouch with a spur, while the other 2 or 4 are small and greenish. There are 5 petals, of which the upper one is often helmet-like, while the 4 lateral ones are fused in pairs, the upper pair forming the wings, the lower pair the lip.

The generic name, as well as popular names of these plants, like touch-me-not and snapweed, were given in allusion to their way of spreading their seeds. As the fruit reaches maturity, a tension builds up inside the pod, causing it to ‘explode’ when touched, hereby spreading the seeds a considerable distance.

More species of balsam may be studied on the page Plants – Mountain plants: Himalayan flora.

 

 

Balsam, Impatiens, Danakju (2300 m), Annapurna, Nepal. Balsamin, Impatiens, Danakju (2300 m), Annapurna, Nepal
In this picture from the Upper Marsyangdi Valley, Annapurna, central Nepal, some of the flowers of this Impatiens bicornuta rather resemble French artist Auguste Rodin’s sculpture ‘The Thinker’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 1977-96
This eroded coastal rock on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, resembles a smiling dinosaur. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

This rock near Guoxing, Taiwan, resembles two monkeys, huddling together. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The presence of natural bridges in Arches National Park, Utah, United States, is caused by thick layers of salt, deep in the underground. These layers are unstable because of the tremendous weight of sediments, resting on them. The layers sometimes move, causing the rocks in the overlaying sediments to crack, often along parallel lines. In these cracks, alternating temperatures loosen small bits of rock, which are removed by rain and wind. In some places, underlying, softer sediments are eroded away, leaving natural bridges of harder material.

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
If you want to see the slender and fragile Landscape Arch, you probably have to do so soon. It may fall anytime. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Broken Arch resembles a giant lizard (right), biting another lizard’s snout. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Arizona-Utah 2001
Delicate Arch is balancing at the edge of an abyss, looking as it could fall any moment. In the background the La Sal Mountains. In the lower picture, it is illuminated by late afternoon sunshine. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Double Arch. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
North (right) and South Windows. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Two species of false cypresses, of the genus Chamaecyparis, are native to Taiwan, the Taiwan red cypress (C. formosensis) and the Taiwan yellow cypress (C. obtusa var. formosana), both growing in areas of high precipitation at medium elevations, between 1,300 and 2,600 m altitude. Read more about these magnificent trees on the page Plants: Ancient and giant trees.

 

 

Taiwan 2003-05
The lower part of the trunk of this old red cypress, growing in Alishan National Forest, resembles a kneeling elephant. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-1
Bornholm 1977-96
This coastal rock on Bornholm, Denmark, formed by rainfall, waves, and wind, is called Kamelhovederne (‘The Camel Heads’), although the figure to the left resembles a wolf, rather than a camel. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Cambodia 2010
Swellings on the lower trunk of this giant rainforest tree of the species Tetrameles nudiflora, growing at the entrance to Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, somewhat resembles a couple, mourning over a deceased person. – More pictures of this species are shown on the page Plants: Ancient and giant trees. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Many of the coastal rocks at Jialeshuei, Kenting National Park, southern Taiwan, have been eroded into resembling various animals.

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
This rock resembles a gigantic frog, swallowing rocks. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
Dog with rounded ears. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tyrkiet 2018e
Head of a rhino. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
A friendly anteater – or maybe a pig. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

These tree roots resemble behind and legs of a naked, running woman. They were seen in a forest near Puli, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Canariske Øer 2006
Coastal rock, resembling a Chinese with a dog, Garachico, Tenerife, Canary Islands. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Popular names of the genus Heliconia include lobster-claw, toucan beak, wild plantain, and false bird-of-paradise. Formerly, this genus, comprising about 200 species, was included in the banana family (Musaceae), but is now forming a family of its own, Heliconiaceae. These plants are found mainly in Central and South America, with a few species in some Pacific Islands and Indonesia.

 

 

Costa Rica
This shadow on a leaf of Heliconia latispatha, growing on Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica, resembles a snail. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
This coastal rock formation at Xiao Yeliou, eastern Taiwan, resembles two wide-mouthed toads – or maybe fish. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008b
This coastal rock on Bornholm, Denmark, is illuminated by the setting sun, causing it to resemble a smiling gorilla. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Costa Rica-2
Part of the outer husk of a coconut has been washed ashore on a beach in Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica, somewhat resembling a hairy beetle. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Heart-shaped tree stump, eastern Jutland, Denmark. The crack to the left resembles a pheasant’s footprint. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Alperne 2018
This rock, photographed in foggy weather, resembles a friendly ogre with a prominent brow, Triglavski National Park, Slovenia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Californien 2013
Coastal rocks at sunset, resembling the profiles of two ogres, Salt Point State Park, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
The outline of these rocks at Gorge du Tarn, Cévennes, southern France, resembles a dancing couple. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
This rock, also in the Cévennes, resembles a gnome, wearing the typical long hood. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Dipterocarpus alatus is a large evergreen forest tree, which can grow to a height of 40 m, sometimes up to 55 m. It is found in tropical Asia, from Bangladesh eastwards through Southeast Asia to the Philippines. It is one of the most important timber species in this region, and wild populations are highly threatened by habitat loss. It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The generic name Dipterocarpus is derived from the Greek words di (‘two’), pteron (‘wing’), and karpos (‘fruit’), referring to the two-winged fruits of this genus.

 

 

Cambodia 2010
This leaf of Dipterocarpus alatus, which has fallen among the ruins of Angkor Thom, Cambodia, displays a beautiful pattern, created by micro-organisms, which have eaten most of it. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-3
This tree trunk, which has been washed ashore on a sandy beach on Bornholm, Denmark, resembles a creeping monster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
The aptly named ‘Mushroom Rock’ is an eroded tuff formation in Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Egypten 1999
Another eroded rock, resembling a giant mushroom, observed in the desert near Nuweiba, Sinai, Egypt. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
This impression in a rock in Valle Hecho, Pyrenees, Spain, resembles the head of a bird of prey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-3
These coastal rocks on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, resemble a large-eyed frog (left) and a wide-mouthed toad. They are covered by a species of orange lichen, Xanthoria aureola. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Californien 2013
Eroded coastal bluff, resembling an eagle, Torrey Pines State Beach and Reservation, California, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, United States, is an area of Entrada Sandstone, which has been eroded by rainfall and wind into the weirdest forms, called ‘goblins’.

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
In the folder, presenting Goblin Valley State Park, this formation is called ‘The Guardians’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
This one might be called ‘Parade of Gorillas’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Swag-bellied gorilla. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Yet another gorilla, together with a hippo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Two ogres. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Toothless old man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Gnome with a big nose, fat belly, and pointed hat. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Ogre with a long beard. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
This formation might be called ‘E.T. kissing Snoopy’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Coigüe (Nothofagus dombeyi) is one among ten species of southern beeches in Chile, described in detail on the page Travel episodes – Chile 2011: The white forest.

 

 

Chile 2011a
A ‘monster’ can be seen in the trunk of this dead coigüe in Parque Nacional Conguillio, Chile. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

On this rock wall in Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California, cracks and streaks of mineral deposits, created by repeated rainfall, have painted a sad face. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

This slice of a pumpkin, made near the stalk, resembles a flower. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Santuario de la Naturaleza Granito Orbicular is an area north of Caldera, Chile, where granite rocks have been eroded into peculiar formations.

 

 

Chile 2011
This rock resembles a cassowary. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011
This one resembles an angry old man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

This tree stump near the Penglai River, Lion’s Head Mountain, northern Taiwan, resembles a hissing dragon. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Guizhou 2009
This stone, found in a field in the Guizhou Province, China, resembles a longish face. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
In Monument Valley, Arizona, United States, rainfall and wind have eroded rocks into bizarre forms. This picture shows The Totempole, which seems to defy gravity. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
This trunk of a dead pine (Pinus) resembles a monster with a long nose, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Fungi on a withered leaf, creating a beautiful design, Basianshan National Forest, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Guizhou 2009
This bush resembles a woman, waving to passing black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis), Cao Hai Lake, Guizhou Province, China. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Bornholm 2008-2
These lichens have grown to form a heart on a tombstone, Nexø, Bornholm, Denmark. – More pictures of tombstones may be seen on the page Culture: Graves. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Californien 2013
Coastal bluff in evening light, showing a ‘face’, Salt Point State Park, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Norden 1992-98
This coastal limestone formation, a so-called rauk, on the island of Fårö, Gotland, Sweden, is named Hunden (‘The Dog’). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
Alternating temperatures have caused this rock at Spitzkoppe, Namibia, to crack layer by layer – like peeling an onion. Further erosion is done by rain and wind. – Other natural phenomena in Namibia are described on the page Countries and places: Namibia – a desert country. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Canariske Øer 2006
The outline on this rock wall near Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, resembles a surprised monkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Sverige 2015
‘Naughty’ carrot, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica-2
This withered bamboo root, washed ashore on a beach near Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica, resembles a six-eyed, hairy monster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Erosion from sea and wind has shaped the soft Daliao Sandstone rocks in Yeliou Geopark, northern Taiwan, creating fantastic formations.

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
These formations have been formed by stones, rotating in depressions in the rock. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan_Yeliou Geopark_002
Taiwan 2011
Gigantic mushrooms. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2011
Camel. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan_Yeliou Geopark_005
This rock resembles Nefertiti, queen of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Ancient Egypt from 1353 to 1335 B.C. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2011
Dog, sniffing another dog. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
Boiled egg in an egg-cup. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
Gaping monster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
Taiwan 2011
These flat, horizontal rocks are called ‘Tofu Rock’, as they resemble tofu, cut into squares (top), while these have been eroded into the outline of a pyramid (bottom). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom 1992-2002
Mist envelops a rock formation, called ‘The Old Man of Storr’, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. In fact, the faces of two lying ‘ogres’ can be seen – one smaller to the left with a heavy eyebrow, a small nose, and a protruding lower lip, and a larger one to the right with a very long nose and a protruding lower lip. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

The grey birch (Betula populifolia) is found in eastern North America, from Ontario and Nova Scotia south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with isolated populations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana. It is often a pioneer tree, invading abandoned fields and burned areas.

 

 

USA 2002-10
The outline of a bird’s head may be seen in the bark on the upper part of the trunk of this grey birch, Maudslay State Park, Massachusetts. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
This shrivelled moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), stuck on a washed-up, algae-covered plank, somewhat resembles a sad alien, Horsens Fjord, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Yunnan 2007
This crack in deposits of calcium bicarbonate at the Baishui Terraces, Yunnan Province, China, resembles a vagina, and a knot above it are ‘pubic hairs’. This formation is sacred to the local people, who worship it. Incense sticks have been stuck into a grass tuft beneath the crack, in which a primrose (Primula) is growing. This worship is a remnant of pre-Buddhist animism. – Read more about such worship of natural features on the page Religion: Animism. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2003-05
This rock formation in the Liwa River Gorge, Taroko National Park, Taiwan, is called ‘Fish Jumping over the Dragon Gate’. The image of a giant fish is seen, ‘swimming’ along the gorge on the right-hand side. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

(Uploaded June 2016)

 

(Latest update June 2019)