Acorn Transforms Into Sapling in Time-Lapse

Waiting for a seed to sprout requires patience, but luckily for those of us who lack this honorable virtue, we have time-lapse videos to soothe our nerves while we wait.

In this mesmerizing time-lapse, we witness the eight-month-long birth of an oak tree — condensed to a mere three minutes.

The video was captured by scientist and photographer Neil Bromhall, who shot the time-lapse with a Nikon D300, a 55mm f/2.8 macro lens and a special underground set. Based in Oxford, England, Bromhall runs the Right Plants 4 Me website, which serves as an encyclopedia for plant identification as well as a resource guide for pruning.

As you watch the video, which was shot between September and April, it's fascinating to observe how the acorn begins to crack almost immediately after planting and then completely splits and separates from the outer shell soon after. As a young shoot begins to creep upwards into the soil, the camera is shifted to an above ground view that allows a glimpse of the baby tree growing taller and a gaining leaves.

Although this modest sapling has emerged from the ground, it'll likely take another 20 years for it to start bearing its own acorns and continue the cycle. No worries, though, there are plenty of gorgeous, mature oaks out there to ogle until then:

Oak tree with spanish moss
(Photo: Danny Barton/Shutterstock)
Oak tree with green grass
(Photo: Honza Hruby/Shutterstock)
Oak tree dirt road
(Photo: Dave Allen Photography/Shutterstock)
Oak tree branches
(Photo: roundstripe/Shutterstock)