Primeval underwater forest discovered in Gulf of Mexico

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Primeval underwater forest discovered in Gulf of Mexico

July 09, 2013 - 18:50

Scuba divers have discovered a primeval underwater forest off the coast of Alabama

Imagine swimming through a 50,000-year-old primeval forest. That's what happened to Ben Raines off the coast of Alabama. After hearing tales of a spot replete with fish and wildlife, Raines dove in and discovered masses of ancient bald cypress trees 60 feet below the surface. He says the stumps are as big as trucks and that the trees are so well-preserved that they still smell like fresh cypress sap when they're cut. The 0.5-square-mile forest was probably preserved in an oxygen-free environment under ocean sediment until Hurricane Katrina rolled in and uncovered it in 2005. Now scientists believe they have about two years to explore the forest before it disintegrates. Their hope: to uncover clues about the climate thousands of years ago.

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