In the rainforest where there is intense competition for light, a bird will drop seeds atop a tree and they will sprout. Initially they make their life living off the host tree and growing leaves that capture the sun. At the same time, they send down roots until they hit the ground. Then the roots grow as the narrow planes almost like buttresses, shown above. Strangle figs are parasitic and eventually can kill the host tree and live out their lives as a columnar tree with a hollow center. While figs (ficus) are the most common, also common behavior with some vines and banyans - this might actually be a banyan.