Photos of other hungry forest trees are now beginning to surface online.

Mother Nature is an ever-present force in Japan that makes her presence felt throughout the year with the beautiful change of seasons, and also with some more fierce displays, in the form of earthquakes, tsunami and typhoons.

Now, Mother Nature has just served up another fearful display of power, this time with a series of hungry trees. As these photos show, forest trees are able to latch onto metal signs and swallow them up into their trunks, devouring them for years.

These before-and-after photos, taken by Twitter user @nanorekawa over the space of 12 years, show that nature is truly an unstoppable force, constantly moving and evolving over time while letting nothing stand in the way of its growth.

And for this particular tree, located by a forest trail in Yorii, a town in Saitama Prefecture, the preferred delicacy is a sign that comes with an image of a cute cartoon squirrel.

It turns out that these particular signs are placed on trees along trails in Saitama, to alert people to the dangers of fires in the forest, which can be started by open fires or poorly discarded cigarettes.

However, as this angle shows, the cute squirrels can end up entirely disappearing into the tree if they’re not careful. 

Scenes like this make you wonder how many trees have totally devoured signs inside their trunks, hidden from view by the outside world after years of consumption.

As it turns out, there are plenty more of these hungry trees around, and it looks like they’ve been swallowing up signs for years, with this photo taken in Okayama Prefecture in 1994.

▼ And at Kanasana Shrine in Saitama Prefecture.

There are so many of these trees that there’s even a hashtag for them online: #もの喰う木 (#TreesEatingThings).

Trees eating things is a sight that’s both awesome and disturbing, and kind of makes them look like characters from a magical forest in a Studio Ghibli film.

Given that the Totoro Forest is located in Saitama, we can’t help but wonder if there really is a bit of magic in the prefecture. It might be time to go for a walk along one of their forest trails to meet these hungry trees face-to-face, and while we’re at it, stop off at the mysterious Ghibli moss art appearing in the mountains there too!

Source: Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@nanorekawa
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