Japan Turned the One Surviving Tsunami Tree Into a Gigantic Sculpture

Two years ago today, Japan was ravaged by a horrible tsunami. And now, right on the anniversary of the disaster, there's a new memorial to the people and things who lived through it: the "miracle tree" that survived the surge has now been converted in a sculpture.

When the surge hit the coast in Rikuzentakata, the 88-foot monster was the only one of a forest of nearly 70,000 trees to survive and remain standing. Months later, the pine eventually died due to its newly barren surroundings, but not before it could be chopped down and have its trunk dismantled for preservation. Now, a fortified sculpture consisting of the remaining pieces, augmented with fake branches and leaves molded from the original placed on top, has been installed at the tree's tsunami-worn home.

The tree's leafy toupee stands 25 feet tall and weighs 1.4 tons alone, to say nothing of the rest of the towering monument which has been assembled over the past week or so. But now it stands completed as a reminder both of everything that washed away, and everything that didn't. [The Asahi Shimbun via This is Colossal]

Japan Turned the One Surviving Tsunami Tree Into a Gigantic Sculpture

Image by Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press