Photo of the Day

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boy war lead Photo of the Day
On Vashon Island (near Seattle), a tree has a very unusual passenger. As the story goes, a boy went to war in 1914 and left his bike chained to a tree. The tree ate the bike and it remains to this day. More photos here and here.

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  • HellHathNoFury

    That’s on one of the trails over by the old K2 ski factory! How did I not recognize this? My dad used to show us this all the time.

    • Pete

      I wonder what happened to the boy? Did he ever make it back from the war?

      • Insert Name Here

        No, he was eaten up by the tree.

  • owne

    that thing is awesome in real life. so bizarre

  • janas

    hahaha, the kid is also in the tree so that’s sobering

  • Dave

    Vashon Island is in Washington State. Why would an American boy be going to war in 1914? The US didn’t get into WWI until 1917

    • HellHathNoFury

      *history nerd* Actually, Vashon, Port Townsend, Whidbey Island and Fort Townsend had started building shoreline battle posts in 1909, completed in 1910, to protect the two nuclear naval bases in the Puget Sound. A trifecta of epic fuckitude for anyone who wanted to try sneaking in. Google Fort Warden, Port Townsend, Wa. It’s where I live, and you’ve probably never seen a place like it.

      • Dave

        Sooooo…in 1910 they completed fortifications on these islands designed to protect the…..nuclear naval bases??!? In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ten. Nuclear naval bases. Uh-huh. Got it. Thanks.

      • Quackyourhandsandplaydead

        Nuclear Naval Bases in 1910? Those must also be the bases where Lincoln placed one of America’s three Time Machines, constructed in 1863, which allowed them to travel nearly 100 years into the future to obtain the designs and materials for a nuclear power generator. I imagine that the resulting paradox–needing nuclear power to generate the necessary energy to perform time travel, but needing time travel to construct a nuclear power plant–was the reason that it wasn’t until 1909 that they finished the construction of the nuclear power plants thus necessitating the construction of shoreline battle post. Wow–you can learn a lot of history from the inter-web!

        • HellHathNoFury

          Psst: hey jackasses, they’re nuclear NOW, they were just bases then. Derp. If I had said ‘Naval bses’, you would have, no doubt, tried to correct me and say, ‘They’re NUCULAR, DUH’

          I work at them, I live here, please. Tell me all about it, oh brilliant one. They were definitely built in 1909, and finished in 1910. I wasn’t there. Don’t bitch at me about their plans.

          • HellHathNoFury

            Crapyourpantssayahhhh. Do some reading before typing, please. Getting pwnd by a girl does not a man make.

            • Doc225

              @HellHathNoFury… Not only are you smart but, You are drop dead finer than a box of cookies! A real good looker you are.

          • BinkyTheToaster

            @HellHathNoFury – Defensive much? Cripes, lady, way to freak out over posts on the internet.

  • posted

    that tree has a warped sense of humor

  • Quackyourhandsandplaydead

    Can’t talk–too busy laughing at you. Try back later.

  • BAM

    I’m surprise that the tires are still intact after 96 years.

  • Patchz


  • fatsean

    The boy would have had to have left the bike chained to the tree several feet in the air for it to work out like that–trees grow from the top, the trunk doesn’t physically move up as the tree ages…

    • chris

      Not all trees grow from the top – evergreen trees grow from the bottom too. There’s plenty of examples of something caught in the tree a long time ago and are no up high here in Washington state.

  • Corey M.

    I find that hard to believe, since trees grow from the top.

  • Andeeeeee

    Lamest discussion ever. just look at the fucking bike in the tree, and then think about how bizarre it is. who gives a shit how it got there?

  • vsan

    I’m from vashon, seen it in person. There’s not much left to it these days. I think that picture was taking in the 90’s when it was still more intact.
    Also its not near the K2 ski factory. Its near the high school.

    Oh and I’ve never heard the story about the boy going to war and all that. I don’t think it has an ounce of truth especially since the bicycle is really tiny. I don’t think they would have sent 10 year olds to war, or to build forts that had already been mostly constructed (they started work on the above mentioned forts in the 1890’s).

    An author created a children’s book about it called “the red ranger came calling,” which has its own version of the events that led up to it being a treed bicycle.

  • Harmon

    Do you consider your life a fulfilled one and if not, what would it take to get to that point?

  • Doc225

    @HellHathNoFury has got the cutest bunch freckles around her little button nose.

  • Doc225

    @HellHathNoFury…. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr… can I get you some crackers?

    • john

      The bike was not on the ground when the tree encased it. Tree trunks do not grow longer. Growth is at the treetop the trunk only grows wider.

  • JB

    That bike is no more than 50 years old and was placed up in that tree.

  • Gasping Gremlins › Potatoes and More

    […] This photo would make a great bike ad: […]

  • Lou R

    The US didn't go to war until 1917 and boys' bikes didn't look like that in 1914. The background story is more than likely false.

    • acmeadvertising

      Agreed. I had exactly the same thoughts when I saw this photo posted on Facebook.

  • Aus-girl

    @ VSAN your right. I read an article on it and definitely isn’t a 1914 looking bike … By the way … Trees don’t grow upwards the branches grow from the roots of it… In other words … U could put something on a tree at eye level… Come back 20 yrs later and it will still b at eye level… And VSAN is also correct as a fiction story was made up for the book … No1 actually knows lol they assume it could have been a practical joke… Anyway I’ve put my 2 cents in… All in all a cool pik :p

  • arf

    Why would a boy from Washington state, USA, leave for the Great War in 1914? Woody Wilson didn't con us to serve the money interests until 1917 to ensure a lopsided conclusion. Why didn't the rubber tires disintergrate through years of seasonal weather?

  • Seattle resident

    As a few have pointed out, It did not belong to anyone old enough to go to war. Much less a war we weren't even part of yet. The bike is from the 50s. The real story is known. Kid didn't much care for the bike and left it there

    Check Slopes even. And a couple other sites, just search Vashon Bike in Tree; plenty articles debunking that BS story.

  • Ana

    Hi Paul, this is an awesome feuatre, my question is…. I get the button on the comments, but when I go to reply, a window pops up and I post my reply to the comment and this reply goes to the bottom … what I would ideally like is, that my reply is directly below every individual comment, is that possible?

  • Jen

    The picture may be real, but that is not a 1914 bicycle. The handlebars and fork are definitely of a later model bicycle. More like the late 40s or 50s style bike. Actually if you Google this picture 'bicycle tree'…you will get tons of info on the picture and the owner of that bike. =)

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