A knot which appears to resemble the Virgin Mary has appeared in a New Jersey tree.
The gnarl in the bark, which resides between 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue in West New York, has attracted hundreds of visitors since it was discovered on July 10.
Police have sectioned off the tree with barricades, as it has rapidly become a shrine surrounded by bouquets of flowers and burning candles.
Local resident Nelly Guerrero was bought to tears by the spectacle: "I am very emotional because I'm seeing here the reality of the Virgin of Guadalupe and I feel very emotional and very happy and this is a miracle that I think has come here to West New York 'cause there's a lot of delinquents, many crimes. One cannot go out at night because this is terrible."
Not everyone is convinced, however. Alfonso Montiel said that the phenomenon is natural, but people's faith is what gives the symbol meaning: "Well nature makes a lot of movements everywhere in nature, I mean, in sounds, you know and in branches, etcetera etcetera. I think it's the belief of people."