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It's a forest that's actually in the shape of Minnesota. It's real, and photographs of this strange forest are making the rounds again.

It's pretty safe to say that residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes really like the shape of our state, right? You can buy just about any kind of apparel that features an image, outline or likeness of our fine state.

And now a picture of a pine forest, growing in the shape of the North Star State has just re-emerged, courtesy of Minnesota Forestry, a division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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They posted the photograph below-- which IS real, they assure us-- on their X (formerly Twitter) page earlier this month, and also explained how such a forest came to exist in the first place.

It involves an industrious forester, who when charged with managing a plot of state-owned forest land back in 1988, set about clearing a section that resembled the shape of Minnesota. It was no accident, of course-- it was part of a meticulous plan, as Minnesota Forestry explains:

Using a road map, a compass, and a hip chain (a device to measure distances), he set up a 23-acre timber sale in half a day and created an outline that may last more than a century. When harvest was completed in the winter 1988, the shape revealed the shape of  Minnesota, in miniature.

The original picture, taken 36 years ago after the timber sale cut down most of the trees within its borders, shows the remarkably accurate outline of the Bold North.

 

Of course, in the years since then, the forest has regrown, but as Minnesota Forest notes, red pines were then planted in that space, and when the surrounding trees were harvested in 2007, the shape of Minnesota returned.

So, a big shout out to the industrious forester who created this very cool tribute to his home state years ago-- one that will continue to exist for generations to come. And speaking of uniquely Minnesota things, keep scrolling to check out some picture-perfect Minnesota Airbnb's you can stay in this winter!

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11 Picture-Perfect Minnesota Airbnb's to Stay in This Winter

If you're looking for the perfect escape this winter, look no further! Check out these picture-perfect Minnesota Airbnb's that you can stay in this winter.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross