Horticultural Hate - The Mystery Of The Forest Swastikas
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July 7, 2013: During flyovers of German forests, it was discovered that many sites displayed prominent swastikas when seen from above in autumn. This effect can only be seen for short periods of time, as the leaves of trees displaying the symbol turn into different colors at slightly different times than the surrounding trees. Apparently, this sort of thing was popular among foresters during the time of the Third Reich



Game and Story Use

  • In settings with supernatural forces, such forest symbols (not just including the swastika) might be sites of ritual magic which can only be used at certain times of the year.
    • Given its original function as a sun-wheel invoking positive cosmic energy, swastika symbols might well call down useful energy into the forest.
  • Possibly also the act of a genius-loci - which may favour the original, pre-Nazi interpretation of the swastika, may actually have Nazi sympathies, or may just be trolling. Possibly with the help of actual trolls - or at least schrats.
    • Amusing if someone were to investigate this and find that the symbols are pre-20th century (say, from the age of the trees) and therefore made without any reasonable expectation of being viewed from the air (might have to be pre-19th century to rule out ballooning, but two centuries ain't that much for most species of broadleaf tree).
  • This sort of thing can also occur when landscaping is done by people on community service orders or similar punishments. A forest may be a bit large scale, but obscene messages written in spring bulbs are relatively common.
  • The above two can easily be combined by a maverick forester.
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