Long before humans discovered the art of shaping trees through bonsai, topiary and espalier, Mother Earth was doing some major horticultural sculpting herself.

One of the most extreme examples of this natural phenomenon can be found at Slope Point, New Zealand, the southernmost point of the country's South Island.

Situated just 2,982 miles from the South Pole, Slope Point is regularly pounded with extreme winds that have traveled uninterrupted for thousands of miles via the Antarctic circumpolar air stream. As evidenced in the photo above, the growth of nearby trees is dramatically affected as the fierce winds make landfall.

Continue below to see more examples of how trees around the world are forced to bend and twist to Mother Earth's will.

Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia

Windswept trees: Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia Photo: Barbara Barbour/Shutterstock

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San Francisco, California

Windswept trees: San Francisco Photo: Philippe Teuwen [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Wikipedia Commons

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Twistleton Scars, Chapel-le-Dale, England

Windswept trees: Twistleton Scars Photo: Phil MacD Photography/Shutterstock

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Slope Point, New Zealand

Windswept trees: Slope Point, New Zealand Photo: Ben [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr

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Darss, Germany

Windswept trees: Darsser, Germany Photo: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

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England's south coast

Windswept trees: South coast of England Photo: Brookie [CC BY-SA 3.0]/Wikimedia

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Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Windswept trees: Puerto Plata Photo: ActiveSteve [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr

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Big Island, Hawaii

Windswept trees: Big Island, Hawaii Photo: mccready [CC BY 2.0]/Wikimedia

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Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada

Windswept trees: Lake Nipissing Photo: Liam Quinn [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Wikimedia

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Maui, Hawaii

Windswept trees: Maui, Hawaii Photo: lauralens/Shutterstock

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Cuckmere Haven, Sussex, England

Windswept trees: Cuckmere Haven Photo: Alina Wegher/Shutterstock

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

12 treescapes dramatically shaped by wind
Long before humans discovered bonsai, topiary and espalier, Mother Nature was doing some major horticultural sculpting herself.