The next time you're out walking through the forest, take a moment to look above you at the beautiful trees, and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Check out these nature photography shots to see what we mean. The naturally occurring phenomenon is called "crown shyness" because the uppermost branches of certain tree species don't like to touch one another. The intriguing behavior was first observed in the 1920s, and various hypotheses have been presented since then in an attempt to explain it. Some believe it occurs to reduce the spread of harmful insects. Others believe that trees are attempting to protect one another's branches from getting cracked and broken in the wind, and it's also been suggested that "crown shyness" happens so that trees can optimize light exposure to maximize the process of photosynthesis which is done by the tree leaves. Despite these various theories, however, nobody knows for sure why this phenomenon occurs, but it serves to remind us of just how beautiful nature can be. Scroll down for some of our favorite pictures, and don't forget to vote for the best. (h/t: colossal)

#1

Crown Shyness Trees

Tom Cowey Report

Jim Gardner
Community Member
2 years ago

Looks almost like a map of part of the world with land and rivers

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#2

Crown Shyness Trees

ThatsJustYourOpinionMan Report

Community Member
2 years ago

this one is Amazing!!

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#3

Crown Shyness Trees

sciencehalimah Report

GalaxyInAJar
Community Member
2 years ago

These are all so beautiful!

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#4

Crown Shyness Trees

unknown Report

Uni N
Community Member
2 years ago

well i should look up more ^-^

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#5

Crown Shyness Trees

Dag Peak Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
2 years ago

It looks like lightening through the trees.

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#6

Crown Shyness Trees

zackzayne Report

CelSlade
Community Member
2 years ago

This one looks almost like neurons

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#7

Crown Shyness Trees

Report

Ok Ha-Neul
Community Member
2 years ago

me in public places : don't touch me don't touch me please don't touch me eunghhhh

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#8

Crown Shyness Trees

Ali Reza Zamli Report

Kalene Ivey
Community Member
2 years ago

Resembles the forest floor. Mind boggling!

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#9

Crown Shyness Trees

ThatsJustYourOpinionMan Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

I really like this one it's geometrical

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#10

Crown Shyness Trees

johdahn Report

Marzo Florida
Community Member
2 years ago

When I first looked at it, my eyes thought that the camera was in the tree looking down at cracks in a path :)

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#11

Crown Shyness Trees

airwii Report

Jimena Mel
Community Member
2 years ago

I think this is one tree

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#12

Crown Shyness Trees

Patrice78500 Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

Stunning

#13

Crown Shyness Trees

Bong & Lilian Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

With the one huge tree trunk front and center it is magnificent

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#14

Crown Shyness Trees

sinikuusisto Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

This is seriously a wonderfull example of creation

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#15

Crown Shyness Trees

paloma.la.chingona Report

Lynne Donovan
Community Member
2 years ago

Looking down on a gentle snowfall! Amazing!

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#16

Crown Shyness Trees

lavanyaprakash Report

Sara MacFarland
Community Member
2 years ago

Ain't Mother Nature a wonder?

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#17

Crown Shyness Trees

busy.doingnothing Report

Mary Shepard
Community Member
9 months ago

Beautiful

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#18

Crown Shyness Trees

arbenedetti Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

Love the trees and the beautiful blue sky background

#19

Crown Shyness Trees

jeelsays Report

Claire OConnor
Community Member
1 month ago

The trees providing a path for my boat on the vast lake beyond

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#20

Crown Shyness Trees

Mr. Sylvester Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

This sort of looks like one before with the square leaves

#21

Crown Shyness Trees

Mikenorton Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

The picture is the most beautiful

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#22

Crown Shyness Trees

Ayie Ramli Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

Such closeness and the sun peeking through, grand

#23

Crown Shyness Trees

lostfredde Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

There is one of the trees that looks like a dog looking over his left shoulder.

#24

Crown Shyness Trees

lailysujak Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

The trunk in the forefront and the rest of the out of sight

#25

Crown Shyness Trees

afaizah Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

Again, very symetric

#26

Crown Shyness Trees

mukanD2007 Report

Linda Brown
Community Member
2 years ago

Again beautiful, there looks like a turtle in the center

#27

Crown Shyness Trees

Ensphinxed Report

Sharron Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

So the trees are (Social Distancing) naturally. I think maybe they are on to something.

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