These are the startling before-and-after pictures of a metal sign which has been almost completely ‘swallowed’ by a tree in just 12 years in a show of strength by nature over man.
The photos were taken in a forest in the town of Yorii in the Saitama Prefecture located in the Kanto Region of eastern Japan and have recently been posted online.
In the first photo, reportedly taken in 2007, a sign bearing a cartoon drawing of a squirrel can be seen with its top half enveloped by the tree trunk.
The second image shows the same sign in 2019, with the trunk having almost completely ‘swallowed’ the sign.
The comparison has received over 55,000 likes online and after it was posted onto social media dozens of other users posted photos of similar scenes of trees having engulfed signs throughout Japan.
The images have sparked the popularity of the #TreesEatingThings hashtag.
The photos from Yorii have drawn comparisons with the popular Studio Ghibli animated film ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, which features a character called Totoro. Totoro forest is also located in Saitama Prefecture.
Netizen ‘GUN’ commented on the comparison photos: “Idk why but this…disturbs me…”
And ‘Matt Roy’ added: “Time lapse!!! Excellent.”