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The Secret Paths That Humans and Animals Carve Through the World: Discovering the Beauty of Desire Paths

Have you ever noticed a path that seems to defy logic? It winds its way through a grassy field or cuts through a park, seemingly leading nowhere in particular. These are known as desire paths, and they’re a testament to the power of human and animal nature.

Desire paths are created by people walking along the same route repeatedly, despite no formal path in place. They’re the result of our natural inclination to take the most efficient route possible rather than adhering to a predetermined path. In addition to paths created by humans, desire paths can also be created by animals. For example, a herd of deer might follow the same path through a field over time, creating a visible trail.

But what makes desire paths so interesting? Perhaps it’s the idea that we can create something beautiful and functional without formal planning. Or maybe it’s the sense of rebellion that comes with going off the beaten path.

Whatever it is, desire paths are a fascinating aspect of human behavior. They show that we’re willing to break the rules and carve our own way through the world, even when it’s not the most convenient or practical option.

So come with us on a journey through some of the most exciting desire paths, both human-made and animal-made, from around the world. From winding trails through the woods to meandering paths along the beach, these paths are a testament to the beauty of nature and our innate desire to explore and discover new things.

And who knows? Maybe the next time you see a desired path, whether humans or animals created it, you’ll be inspired to forge your path and see where it takes you.

So get ready to be inspired by the power of nature and the beauty of desire paths. These photos will leave you in awe and make you appreciate how humans and animals shape the world around us.

#1 The world’s (actual) greatest desire path! He carved a road through a mountain over 22yrs to shorten the distance from his village to the nearest hospital from 70km to 1km

#2 My cat passed away last night. These were his paths

#4 Generations of bunnies have worn a perfect groove in my neighbor’s fence

#5 After our dog passed, we turned his desire path into a forever path

#7 The oval walkways at ohio state university were paved based on the students’ desire paths

#10 Doggo desire path at a local off-leash park. Remember that pavement can be too hot for paws on a sunny day!

#12 The ants in my garage built a bridge over my glue trap

#14 I’m in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend, and this is where i walk when i’m on the phone with her every night

#16 At the student residence. I tried to walk the intended path for once. It was long

#19 This college paved over the desire paths after waiting a year to see where mud trails formed

#20 My dog’s desire path is filling up with flower petals. Looks pretty at the moment!

#23 Desire path spotted on the campus of monster’s university

#24 Found this as a post on facebook. Elephant paths anyone?

#25 Does this count? A footpath so badly constructed nobody wants to use it

#26 Not sure if this is allowed. Swimming paths made by a moorhen on the way to and from its nest

#27 The sidewalks on my school’s quad are not symmetrical because they were installed based on where the grass was worn out…

#29 My college put sod on the path and put up a sign. The students listened to the sign and created a path next to the sod

#30 She’s made a few desire paths. I like this one the most

#31 Google acknowledges the desire paths on our campus

#34 Was told to post this here, so here i am posting this here

#36 Well worn wall mart path. Deepest i’ve ever seen

#38 People made a desire pentagram inside a big roundabout

#39 My dad shoveled a path but the rest of the family decided it was too far

#40 This desire path has slowly disappeared now that no one is coming to the office due to covid… Wonder how many others are disappearing

#42 If this isn’t a big enough sign that you need to trim your hedges more often i don’t know what is

#45 Technical university delft (nl) paved all desire paths

#46 What am i to do with the 2 seconds i saved today?

#51 I took this two years ago but just discovered the sub so i thought i’d share. Just a bike path behind my old school

#52 I’ve never seen a more concise or humorous example of this sub in real life

#53 Been walking to work everyday for 2 years and i just realized i’ve been making my own path

#56 There’s a sign here that says “cyclists dismount”

#57 Will you take the desire stairs or the desire ramp? (south downs, england)

#58 Somebody really thought this design would be a good idea

#59 “two roads diverged in a yellow wood”–one shaves 250 yards off the paved trail. (see the satellite inset to appreciate this one.)

#60 Does this count? Ants walking the same path over and over again made a mark on these dusty tiles

#61 Bollards were installed last week at my estate, meaning all 450 houses have to use one road to exit. In the wise words of that bloke from the dinosaur film “life uh, finds a way”

#62 The path my dog created so she can say hi to her neighbor

#63 My apartment turned a desire path into an official path

#65 Visitors at parc floral de paris prefer to jump the moat instead of going the long way back

#69 This absolute unit on the left and his little brother on the right

#70 One of the best i’ve seen irl. Taken in february

Written by Maverick King

Born and raised in Luxembourg, marketing expert. I compose interesting stories, lists. Love to play ping-pong, Grey’s, Anatomy tv series.

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