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These wooden giants are hiding in Copenhagen’s forests

Looking for these sculptures will lead you to some of Denmark's most remarkable off-the-beaten-path spots. Danish artist Thomas Dambo is inspiring nature lovers to explore the unknown depths of Copenhagen’s forests by hiding six giant sculptures throughout six different municipalities in the area. The “open air sculpture treasure hunt,” as he calls it, takes wanderers through Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishø, Albertslund, and Høje-Taastrup to expose the curious to stunning scenery.

The sculptures, which sit tucked away underneath bridges, behind trees, up on hillsides, and hidden within the brush of the forests, can only be located using a treasure map provided on Dambo’s website or deciphering poems engraved in stones near the sculptures. "As humans, we often have a way of choosing the beaten path and the main roads," Dambo said in a video regarding his project. "So when the municipalities of west Copenhagen contacted me about a project, it seemed natural to make something which could get people out and explore the beautiful nature in the hidden outskirts, which you usually wouldn’t see."

Each of the sculptures is made using scrap wood that would have otherwise been thrown out, whether it be trees that were cut down or windmills that were no longer in use. The pieces include "Teddy Friendly," a giant sculpture standing right beside a lakeshore, with a hand held out to help people cross the water stream. There’s also "Sleeping Louis," a sculpture napping in a location where homeless people would often sleep due to leftover trash in the area. The work also creates a shelter that people can sleep inside of.

Peek into the distance and you may catch "Little Tilde," a sculpture hiding behind a big tree that sits filled with 28 different birdhouses. And be sure to keep your eye out for "Oscar Under the Bridge," a giant troll built directly under a bridge, his hand holding onto the rail. Finally, for magnificent views, look for "Thomas on the Mountain," where you can sit on his long legs and overlook the sweeping greenery in the distance, or the "Hill Top Trine," which sits in a large meadow for those who want to crawl up and gaze at the grazing sheep in the distance.

Dambo specializes in creating sculptures, artwork, and furniture out of recycled materials, and hopes his artwork can also inspire people to think about the cause. “I hope my art will inspire people to see the big potential in recycling and taking better care of our planet,” Dambo wrote in a blog post about his latest work.