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A slice of a lost world
November 13, 2007 11:00 AM   Subscribe

The forest preserve of Białowieza is considered to be the last primeval forest in lowland Europe. Because of its unique position on the border of the temperate and boreal climate zones, it contains a unique mixture of trees, such as Norway Spruce and oaks. It also contains an interesting mix of fauna, including the European Bison, beaver, wolves, and the Nazi re-creation of an extinct species.

Some photos. And some other photos.
posted by never used baby shoes (18 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn Interesting.
posted by BobbyDigital at 11:24 AM on November 13, 2007


"What is so awe-inspiring about this landscape that it could bewitch people from many cultures and eras? For starters, it contains 500-year-old oak trees, as well as soaring pine, spruce and elm rising like citadels hundreds of feet tall. In addition to its throwback tarpans, it boasts a multitude of other species, from one-celled protozoans to --- "

They got one-celled protozoans? Mmm hmm... Now that's awe-inspiring.
posted by Termite at 11:31 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I just read about this in The World Without Us, and it made me feel like I was going to start weeping.

I think I'm done with humans, let's let the trees take over for a couple million years.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:34 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Motherfucking nazi raccoons!
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on November 13, 2007


This is yet another place that I would add to the top of my Places You Must Visit Before You Die list -- if it weren't for the fact that it would probably be much better off if humans stayed as far away from it as possible.

Thanks for the fascinating post.
posted by blucevalo at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2007


Park rangers guide tiny groups of hikers along designated paths, where they're forbidden to litter, smoke or even speak above a whisper

I wish more places were like this. Especially the bit about having to whisper.
posted by aramaic at 11:50 AM on November 13, 2007


Fuck. I was hoping for dinosaurs.

NAZI dinosaurs.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:04 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I too am fascinated by the idea that they even force visitors to whisper.

This is on my list of "Places I want to Visit with A Telephoto Lens" now.
posted by JeremyT at 12:10 PM on November 13, 2007


This is awesome. I've often wondered about what kinds of national parks Europe features. Thanks, never used baby shoes.
posted by koeselitz at 12:18 PM on November 13, 2007


Well, Nazi or not, I think it was a good attempt to re-create the extinct species. We all laugh at his folly now, but lacking modern knowledge of genetics I think it was a good attempt. Shit, it's better that than helping with the human vivisection experiments. I say good try, Lutz Heck.
posted by GuyZero at 12:20 PM on November 13, 2007


NAZI dinosaurs.

Don't worry folks, one day we'll be gone, and only the forest will remain.
posted by Avenger at 12:27 PM on November 13, 2007


Don't worry folks, one day we'll be gone, and only the forest will remain.

If civilization collapses -- or hell, even in a major economic downturn, -- places like this will be hunted for bushmeat. See yesterday's post on the Saiga.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:07 PM on November 13, 2007


I wish more places were like this. Especially the bit about having to whisper.

Here's one square inch that's pretty quiet.
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on November 13, 2007


I've read a little bit about this place before, never used baby shoes , thanks for posting this. Białowieza and the Plitvice Lakes National Park are two places I would love to visit someday.
posted by homunculus at 1:44 PM on November 13, 2007


Thanks, good info. Somewhere we plan to go and whisper too.
posted by imperium at 1:47 PM on November 13, 2007


Greg Nog, I too read about it in the World Without Us, and wanted to learn more. The bit about the attempt to re-create the tarpan there was a fascinating add-on, but the place itself is so interesting (and I think there would be even more interesting links if I could read Polish), I was surprised to find it hadn't been on the Blue before.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:35 PM on November 13, 2007


This is a cool post. This is best of the net.

Of course, I was drawn in when I read, "Historically, it served as a hunting retreat for kings and czars..."

Since family legend holds that my great grandfather and his sister came to the U.S. because their father, a game keeper for a large estate, was killed by poachers, leaving them orphans, and my family surname is quite prominent in that corner of Poland, it makes me wonder whether gread great gandpa ever cared for tarpans....
posted by Doohickie at 7:51 PM on November 13, 2007


This is really neat, thanks.

The bit about the nazi recreation is interesting too. The nazis were really into native plants, too. Not to give the native plant idea a bad rep; there are a lot of non-genocidal reasons to be into native plants.
posted by salvia at 12:34 AM on November 14, 2007


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