The earth is alive; keep breathing

A rather freaky event was caught on camera (albeit vertically) in Nova Scotia at the end of October.

The ground in the vicinity of Apple River was seen to be heaving up and down, as if the earth was breathing. CBC News in Canada reports:

Brian Nuttall was out for a walk on a breezy Oct. 30 in Apple River, Cumberland County, when he came across an unusual sight and pulled out his cellphone.

The wind blowing on the tree tops, is pushing them causing them to lean and the roots spread out in the ground to be pulled. Trees and vegetation anchor the soil in this way and are anchored BY the soil. But each blow loosens their foundation a little more. The trees are apt to blow over as their roots are ripped from the ground. treeroot

But, as usual, many people misinterpret the event and consider it “insane” or joke about an underground monster.

  10 comments for “The earth is alive; keep breathing

  1. JPon
    November 14, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    Speaking as a poet and lover of all things wild — that is really beautiful! Speaking as a critical thinker… I think the same applies.

  2. One Eyed Jack
    November 14, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Fellow readers of Doubtful News, please learn from this video.

    Video screens are wider than they are tall. If you find yourself in a moment that screams “must record”, please turn your phone horizontal.

    That is all.

  3. Blargh
    November 14, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    Vertical Video Syndrome” as the old but still relevant Glove and Boots PSA dubbed it.

  4. Chris
    November 14, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    In 1993 we had a terrible windstorm. While in the living room with my toddler I saw the large cedar tree in front heaving the lawn up an down. So I took my younger son and retreated to an outdoor mall where there were fewer tall trees and had lovely little lunch with my little guy.

    Then I picked up my older boy from preschool, so I did not have to wait for him in the storm to be dropped off my the special ed. bus. Went back to the neighborhood mall for a while. When I got home with the boys the top half of the cedar tree was gone, and wire for cable TV was on the ground.

    The neighbors (college students) had already cleaned up the mess after the top of the tree had broken off. It apparently snapped and fell where my car had been parked, and at about the time my older boy would have been dropped off. Coincident? Um, yes. A very lucky coincident, helped by a healthy dose of fear for falling trees.

    Moral of the story: when you see a tree do that, find a safer place to be!

  5. Asha
    November 16, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    I was showing this post and video to my husband, and the first thing he noticed about it was that there also appears some standing water in the immediate area. This is only noticeable at the end of the video when the camera points toward the ground. I think it’s in the last four seconds of the video, but when the camera points down as he’s ending the video, it appears that he’s standing in front of a fair amount of dinner plate-sized puddles. I’m definitely not knowledgeable enough to really speculate, but my husband was wondering aloud just how much a fair amount of standing water would exacerbate the root system upheaval we see being caused by the strong sustained winds and stronger wind gusts. We both suspect that the ground being thoroughly saturated wouldn’t likely be a positive thing in this situation, but as neither of us have any experience or expertise in this sort of thing, we can only speculate on how standing water/oversaturated ground would behave in a heavy windstorm.
    If anyone who is more knowledgeable about this would care to confirm or deny our musings on the standing water/oversaturated ground idea, it would be appreciated.
    If we’re incorrect about seeing multiple puddles in the last four seconds of the video, please let me know what it is he and I have mistaken for puddles.
    Lastly, just watching this video, as cool as it is to see the ground heave up and down with the root systems, it still makes me cringe. I want to yell at the fellow shooting the video to get the heck out of there as fast as possible, because it seems as though one or more of those trees could come down at any moment. I guess it’s kind of like when watching a horror film, and a character does something incredibly stupid, and you feel compelled to yell, “Don’t go in there! That’s where the psycho killer is!”. You know that you have no effect on the outcome, but you find yourself shouting at your tv anyhow.
    I hope this somehow makes sense. It’s been a long day and I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of trying to convey the points I’m hoping to make.
    If it sounds like a bunch of gibberish, I apologize in advance.

  6. Chris
    November 16, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    “We both suspect that the ground being thoroughly saturated wouldn’t likely be a positive thing in this situation, but as neither of us have any experience or expertise in this sort of thing, we can only speculate on how standing water/oversaturated ground would behave in a heavy windstorm.”

    Yes, they do make it easier for trees to fall. The wet soil is unable to hold the roots, and the trees don’t just break off… they fall over with roots ending up above ground. When I was in high school we experienced one trailing arm of Hurricane Agnes, torrential rain and gale force winds. After that storm there were lots of nice large trees lying horizontal on the ground, with the roots standing as tall in the air of the remains of the canopy.

    The latter part of the video was particularly scary, you can see the roots just about come out of the ground. As I noted above, when you see root movement you need to go somewhere safer. About nine years ago we had a nasty windstorm after lots and lots of rain, many trees fell. There is a tree lined avenue about three miles north of where I live, so many trees fell on it that it was closed for a days. Many of those tall ash trees that fell were replaced by species that were not as prone to falling (we hope). I still call it the Avenue of Falling Trees.

  7. ApexDisorder
    November 17, 2015 at 2:39 AM

    Im not being a jerk Chris,
    Moral of the story is take care of your property.
    Kids and trees.

  8. Chris
    November 17, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    It was not my tree. It was a very nice surprise that the neighbors cleaned it up so quickly.

  9. Asha
    November 19, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    Thanks Chris, it seemed to be the most logical thing that soaked topsoil would be detrimental to the stability of a tree’s root system. If high winds were added to the situation, it would only be further destabilized.
    I agree. The video is difficult to watch, knowing what a dangerous situation the man shooting the video is in.
    Thanks again, and cheers!

  10. keith
    November 21, 2015 at 1:15 AM

    Yes you are.

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