A piece of driftwood overlooking the Juan de Fuca StraitA piece of waterlogged driftwood

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Driftwood is wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach by the action of the waves. more...

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Driftwood is formed when a tree or large tree branch washes into the ocean (or another large body of water), usually because of strong winds, as in a storm, or due to flooding. The tree dies and the dead wood shelters and feeds fish, birds, and other aquatic species, as it floats in the ocean. Gribbles, shipworms, and bacteria decompose the wood and gradually turn it into nutrients that are reintroduced to the food web. Sometimes, the partially decomposed wood washes ashore and shelters birds, plants, and other species. The driftwood can become part of the foundation of sand dunes.

Driftwood carried by Arctic rivers was the main, or sometimes only, source of wood for some Inuit and other Arctic populations living above the tree-line until they came into regular contact with European traders.

Many people use driftwood as parts of decorative furniture or other art forms, and it is a popular element in the scenery of fish tanks.

One famous piece of driftwood is the "Old man of the lake" in Crater Lake, Oregon. It is a full sized tree that has been bobbing in the lake for more than a century. Due to the cold water temperature of the lake, the tree has been well preserved.

According to Norse mythology, the first humans were Ask and Embla - formed out of two pieces of driftwood, an ash and an elm.

Other uses

  • Driftwood is also the name of a 1947 motion picture directed by Allan Dwan.
  • "Driftwood" is a single by Travis.
  • Driftwood is also the name of a famous race horse.
  • Jimmy Driftwood is an American folksinger and songwriter.
  • Driftwood is also the name of a local band from Rye, New York
  • Driftwood is also the name of a 2006 motion picture written by Chris Kobin and Tim Sullivan directed by Tim Sullivan.

Read more at Wikipedia.org

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