When thinking of Georgia’s Jekyll Island, you may picture the famous large pieces of driftwood that often wash up on those shores. These massive pieces of nature and art not only have a story, but they also have a purpose.
If you’ve ever been curious about what driftwood is, keep reading below.
What is Driftwood?
As you might have been able to guess, driftwood is pieces of trees or even whole trees that end up in a body of water, such as a river or an ocean. But how could it possibly get there in the first place?
Where Does it Come From?
Think about all of the islands that are out in the ocean decorated with trees, or all of the rivers shaded by green canopies. All driftwood takes is one branch, or sometimes a whole tree, to collapse into the waiting water.
Just like there are many types of trees, there’s also different kinds of driftwood. Most commonly, you’ll only see small parts, like a branch or a part of a root. But, sometimes, a whole tree stays intact while it travels through the ocean, creating those famous pieces of driftwood that wash up on Jekyll Island’s shores.
Why Does it Look Like That?
If you travel slowly through a body of water, you might also look like a piece of driftwood. That’s because the current, water type, and other inhabitants create the gray and corroded famous appearance of driftwood. Fast-moving water can strip the tree of its bark, salt can wash away the color, and smaller animals or insects can drill small or gaping holes into the tree to make their home.
Each piece of driftwood tells a story about its journey, which you can often see hints of if you look close enough.
How Does Driftwood Help the Environment?
Pieces of driftwood can often be used for many different purposes. Whether it be for building boats, crafts, decorating houses, forming habitats for other animals, regulating water flow, or providing a home for plants to flourish, this seemingly insignificant piece of wood does so much for our environment.
So, next time you visit Jekyll island or come across a tree making its way down a river, take a closer look to see just how much it’s benefiting the area.
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