Underwater cypress forest found off coast of Ala.

07/8/2013 | LiveScience.com

Scuba divers have found a well-preserved, 52,000-year-old forest of bald cypress trees on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico near Alabama. The forest, which was buried under ocean sediment and may have been revealed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, could hold climate history and provide data about sea levels in the Gulf of Mexico. If the forest is not examined soon, ocean life could destroy it. "The longer this wood sits on the bottom of the ocean, the more marine organisms burrow into the wood, which can create hurdles when we are trying to get radiocarbon dates," said dendrochronologist Grant Harley, who has researched the site along with Louisiana State University geographer Kristine DeLong.

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