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Read about the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest on

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Description





In western Lesvos, natural erosion is gradually bringing to light fossilized pieces of trees which, in the remote past, were once alive. They have been there for years beyond computation, witnesses to an unrepeatable act of creation, monuments of nature.

Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire, robbed these trees of life in a mighty paroxysm, granting them immortality instead.

Their colours are bright, unbelievably vivid, so that they stand out from the ash and the greys of the volcanic rocks which surround them.

The differing shades of red, yellow and chestnut, of green and of black are innumerable. Tints of saffron, carmine, and violet, shading into deep blue, in unusual combinations, dazzle the eye of the visitor.

This is an entirely different world, totally still, but at the same time so full of life. The visitor has the impression that no great length of time can have passed since these trees were covered with volcanic ash from the endless wave of volcanic explosions in the northern Aegean. The forms of the trees have retained their individual characteristics to such a degree, the outer surfaces are so well preserved, the fruit, the leaves, the branches and their roots are revealed in such detail that they have everyone fooled. This place could be termed "the Pompeii of the plant world".

Today scientific research and human efforts have revealed impressive standing and lying tree trunks. The diameter of the largest standing trunks exceeds 3 meters and their height 7 meters while many lying trunks exceed 20 meters in length.

The presence of well-preserved fossilized root systems defines the uniqueness and importance of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos since these systems are an indicator that the forest is indeed indigenous.

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