Ancient forests have a way of capturing the imagination — why else would they show up in so many memorable movies? Dark, mysterious and hauntingly beautiful, they conjure images of mythical creatures and creepy characters.
From twisted yew trees to majestic Californian redwoods, we've found the world's most inspiring real-life forests. Check them out below.
Olympic National Park, Washington (pictured at top)
The lush green rainforest of Olympic National Park has an incredibly diverse ecosystem with old growth in the shadow of glacier-covered peaks and alpine meadows.
Rata Forest, New Zealand
New Zealand is home to this particularly gnarly forest on Enderby Island, which looks like it has come straight out of "Lord of the Rings," which was filmed in the country. Just don't expect the trees here to talk (or walk, for that matter).
Del Norte Redwoods State Park, California
Majestic, proud, magnificent. When you stand in a redwood forest, you stand among giants. The quintessential redwood forest can be found at Del Norte Redwoods State Park in California.
Gorbeia Natural Park, Spain
Go green. These mossy wonders can be found in Spain’s Gorbeia Natural Park, located at the foot of Mount Gorbeia, which sits at 4,859 feet.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This beautiful fern-heavy forest is a haven amongst the barren land at the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii. The forest in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is made up primarily of tree fern and ohia trees.
Brocéliande Forest, France
This particular old moss-covered beech tree actually has a name, Ponthus’ beech, which legend has it is named after a knight of the Round Table. The tree can be found in Brocéliande Forest near Brittany, France.
Goblin Forest, New Zealand
This was not a film location in "Lord of the Rings," but it may as well have been. The mystical Goblin Forest in New Zealand can be explored when visiting the Tararua Forest Park. Probably not the kind of place you want to spend a lonely night, though.
Ancient yew, England
This twisted yew tree is among one of the oldest in England. Some of the trees are said to be almost 2,000 years old and are popular with kids playing hide-and-seek. The trees don't have man to thank for their survival — they were once used as target practice by Britain's Royal Air Force.
Some forests are meant for walks; some trees are there to climb. And there are others where you just need to stand and stare. This enchanting autumnal scene was captured in Baden Wuerttemberg in the southwest of Germany.
Display of light in the Netherlands
No forest scene is complete until the sun appears, sending through great shards of light that illuminate the forest floor. This forest scene can be found in many areas across northern Europe. This one is actually in the Netherlands.
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