These aren’t your average leafy pals – we’re talking about the botanical rebels, the oddballs of the tree world that make you do a double-take or do an image search and see what the deal is. We cover everything from the OG dinosaurs’ hangout spots to trees that look like land octopuses. The 19 weirdest trees in the world, coolest characters in nature’s story are up next, enjoy.
Also known as the baobab tree, it looks like it planted its roots in the sky. Native to Madagascar, Africa, and Australia, these trees can live for thousands of years and store water in their ginormous trunks.
2. Dragon Blood Tree
Found on the island of Socotra, the Dragon’s blood tree earned its name from the crimson sap it produces. It looks like something out of a mythical land, with an umbrella-shaped canopy and a trunk that’s more like a sculpture than a tree.
3. Quaking Aspen
4. Boojum Tree
Native to the Baja California Peninsula, the Boojum tree looks like a Dr. Seuss creation. With a spindly trunk and branches that seem to defy gravity, it’s a botanical oddity that stands out in the desert landscape.
5. Wollemi Pine
Thought to be extinct for millions of years, the Wollemi pine was rediscovered in Australia in 1994. Often called a “living fossil,” this tree has dinosaur-era vibes for a reason, fossils showing that they once provided shade for dinosaurs. With only 46 adult trees and 43 juveniles remaining in the wild, it’s now a somewhat extinct tree.
6. Socotra Bottle
Another gem from the island of Socotra, the Socotra Bottle tree looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. With a swollen trunk and branches that resemble roots, this tree creates an alien oasis around it.
7. Rainbow Eucalyptus
Next up, nature’s paint palette. All the way from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, the Rainbow Eucalyptus lives up to its name. As the bark peels away, it reveals a spectrum of colors, creating a natural work of art in the forest. If you like how it looks, we have good news for you: you can plant one of these bad boys in your backyard if you live in an area where the temps are above 50°F (10°C).
8. Jabuticaba Tree
Yes, grapes on bark, more or less. Native to Brazil, the Jabuticaba tree grows its fruit directly on its trunk. Apparently branches were too mainstream for this tree #WeLoveRebels
9. Rainbow Shower Tree
Native to Madagascar, the rainbow shower tree has a stunning flow of colorful flowers. We fit this one on the list because we feel it looks more like a flower than a tree, seeing one face to face must be a surreal experience.
10. Crooked Forest
Located in Poland, the Crooked Forest is a stand of oddly shaped pine trees with a mysterious 90-degree bend at their base. The reason behind their unique shape remains a puzzling enigma.
11. Bristlecone Pine
Found in the high mountains of the Western US, the Bristlecone pine is one of the oldest living trees. They look like an oddly-shaped sculpture coming straight from the Earth.
12. Octopus Tree
If you visit the Pacific Northwest you might have a chance to stumble upon this tree. It has branches that twist and turn like the arms of an octopus, hence the name. If you see it at night you might be just a tad startled.
13. Tree of Ténéré
The lonely sentinel, the tree of Ténéré in Niger was once considered the loneliest tree on Earth, standing in the vast Sahara Desert with no other tree in sight. Unfortunately, it fell victim to a truck in 1973, but you can visit it at the Niger National Museum.
14. Thimmamma Marrimanu
Found in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Thimmamma Marrimanu holds the Guinness World Record for the widest tree. With a canopy that stretches over 19,000 square meters, it’s like a natural forest all on its own.
15. Quiver Tree
Native to Southern Africa, the Quiver tree earned its name because the indigenous San people traditionally used its branches to make quivers for their arrows.
16. Teapot Baobab
In the Limpopo Province of South Africa, you’ll find a Baobab tree that looks like a giant teapot. It’s fun, it’s weird, it’s on our list of the weirdest trees in the world.
17. Monkey Puzzle Tree
Found in South-Central Chile and Western Argentina, it has distinctive, sharply pointed, overlapping leaves that spiral around its branches. It earned its name because someone supposedly remarked that it would puzzle a monkey to climb it due to its prickly nature. This ancient tree species has been around since the time of dinosaurs and is considered a living fossil.
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18. Kapok Tree
Native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, it provides habitat and sustenance for a diverse range of wildlife. Known for its massive trunk and branches, but what makes it truly unique is its fluffy, cotton-like fibers that encase its seeds. These fibers were traditionally used as stuffing for life jackets and pillows.
19. Joshua Tree
Native to the Southwestern United States, this tree has a distinctive and unusual appearance, with its spiky leaves and twisted branches. It’s well-adapted to its arid environment and can live for hundreds of years.