Nature’s Sculpture: an unusual tree

Are there any arborists out there who can explain this unusual tree? I saw it while walking through Saddle River County Park in NJ. I’ve seen external bee hives that wrap around tree branches, but this seems way too big to be a bee hive … doesn’t it? I tried to zoom in as much as I could with my iPhone camera (below right), and it’s still hard to tell whether the surface of this bump is tree bark or whether it’s a foreign object or growth. If you have any thoughts or expertise and can answer this, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

nature sculpture unusual tree found in Saddle River County Park
It makes me think of it being nature’s answer to Seattle’s Space Needle!
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