Eerie Footage Of ‘Living, Breathing’ Canadian Forest Floor Filmed On Halloween Eve Goes Viral

The Internet is puzzling over weird footage posted online showing what looks like living and breathing earth in a Canadian forest. The video sparked a debate after it emerged online on Halloween, with social media users speculating and proffering competing suggestions, such as a sinkhole in the process of being formed, soft marshland with gas below the surface, and hoax.

The footage was first uploaded to Facebook by Brian Nutall, who said he came across the weird phenomenon of breathing moss-covered forest floor while walking on a windy day on October 30 near Apple River, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

He filmed the eerie scene evocative of a snoozing earth-giant with his cell phone camera and uploaded it online a day later on Halloween, October 31.

“As I entered a patch of trees spared from clear cutting, I noticed the ground moving.”

According to CBC, the video — which went viral immediately after it emerged online — has been seen more than 3 million times. It appears to show the forest floor breathing in and out in a regular rhythm as autumn winds blew over it, as if the Earth was availing itself of opportunity of fresh air.

Stunned at the sight, Nutall pulled out his cell phone and filmed it.

After he shared the video on Facebook, Nutall suggested an explanation for the weird “breathing” forest floor, arguing that the wind blowing against the larger forest trees was causing the movement of the loose soil.

The movement of the soil, according to Nutall, was enhanced by the fact that the roots of the trees spreading under the soil were interconnected and detached. Thus, when the wind moved the larger trees the earth moved in sync with the heaving of the interconnected and detached roots.

And as Nutall pointed out, it was only a matter of time before the larger trees fall.

Forest Breathes In And Out
Canadian Captures Eerie Footage Showing Moss-Covered Forest Floor 'Breathing' On Halloween Eve (Image via Manuel Petitat/YouTube)

“I believe the larger trees are doomed to blow down but are currently spared, the smaller trees around them help hold each other up, as the wind pushes the trees into one another,” Nutall said. “The punishing prevailing winds have taken their toll on the side hill, the roots have loosened and the mossy ground from the once shaded forest floor is giving way, soon to be toppled over. It’s likely only a matter of time before the wind wins out and the trees fall.”

However, the Daily Mail noted that Nutall’s simple and convincing “non-supernatural” explanation did not satisfy Facebook users stunned by the unfamiliar sight of earth “breathing in and out” rhythmically. Facebook users contributed suggestions of their own, ranging from sane and reasonable ideas such as a sinkhole forming to unlikely explanations such as the dead pushing against the earth to come alive on Halloween.

“Everything comes alive on Halloween…”

“That’s pretty freaky. I have never seen that before.”

“Freaky! Great posting for Halloween.”

“Mother Earth breathing heavy.”

“I expected a hand to come out of the ground… spook.”

“I watched this and get the most insane goosebumps.”

A few expressed suspicion that it was a Halloween practical joke.

But other users agreed with Nutall that it could be a natural event and the most likely explanation was that the wind blowing against the trees was forcing movement of loose earth.

“I had some trees in a past home that I lived in,” a Facebook user said. “The roots are all interconnected, and when the wind blew the top of the huge tree, the ground moved like this at least 2 feet up and down.”

“The dead tree’s died awhile back and their roots causing space underground,” another Facebook user said. “The ground on surface with the moss is very soft, the roots from the good trees standing are spread across the surface of the ground so when the wind blows… the ground moves with the roots… this is just my theory.”

[Image via Brian Nutall/Facebook]