Several weeks ago, the national park, located just north of Eureka, Calif., opened its first new hiking trail in 10 years, and it appears the Force is strong with the brand-new path.
Redwood enthusiast Richard Stenger, of the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told AOL News that a major surprise awaits imaginative visitors on the trail: a giant redwood tree that resembles Darth Vader's iconic mask from "Star Wars."
"When you look at the tree from a certain angle, it looks just like Darth Vader. It's a very big, dark redwood, too, so that adds to the visual. We think the tree is likely a survivor of fires and lightning strikes, which would explain its scars and dark appearance," Stenger said.
Stenger said the Darth Vader Tree, as it's being called, can be found roughly halfway through the three-mile Berry Glen Trail -- not too long a trek for die-hard "Star Wars" fans.
However, since the path hasn't been open for long, not many people know about the tree yet.
"Maybe by next year, we'll have 'Star Wars' fans lining up to take pictures with it," Stenger said with delight. "If George Lucas wants to take a look at it, I'm sure our park rangers would be more than happy to take him to it."
Though the Darth Vader Tree is certainly the latest lord of the redwoods, Stenger assured there are plenty of other odd and strange trees worth checking out in Northern California redwood country.
Stenger said that if you head 30 minutes south of Eureka to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, you'll come across a bizarre breed of trees known as albino redwoods, or "forest ghosts."
Like albino animals, these trees lack pigmentation, so their needles are snowy white instead of green. Stenger said albino redwoods grow in the deepest, darkest parts of the redwood forest, so they really stand out among the rest.
"They sort of glisten like a white Christmas tree. There are only 50 or so of these in existence, and at least six of them can be found at Humboldt Redwoods State Park," he said.
Stenger said Humboldt County is also home to the world's tallest trees, including a reclusive redwood known as Hyperion, which towers high above at 379 feet tall.
"It's six stories taller than the Statue of Liberty and is the world's tallest living tree. It's at an undisclosed, remote location that's hard to get to, but that keeps the tree protected," Stenger said.
There's also the 365-foot Tall Tree within Redwood National Park, which Stenger said used to be the world's tallest tree before Hyperion came along.
He guessed that Tall Tree is about 900 years old, completely normal in redwood years.
"It's not uncommon for redwoods to be 900 to 1,500 years old. In some cases, they even surpass 2,000 years. Redwoods are super trees. They can withstand almost any element."
While the Darth Vader Tree may be the coolest conifer you've seen today, the "Star Wars" redwood isn't the only wacky plant to make headlines this year.
Back in August, a 100-year-old tamarind tree in Thailand became an instant Internet sensation. It supposedly boasted branches that looked like the open legs of a naked woman.
But after some serious sniffing around by locals, the sexually suggestive tree turned out to be nothing but a big, fat viral hoax.
Well, at least the Darth Vader Tree is the real deal.
And if you just can't see it, try harder. As Darth Vader himself would say, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
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