Imagine swimming in an underwater primeval forest that nature has preserved for over 50,000 years. Now you can if you are willing to dive 60 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, 10 miles offshore of Alabama.
Experts believe 2005’s Hurricane Katrina unveiled what had been buried under ocean sediment for centuries. And it took some curious fishermen to discover it by questioning why there so many fishing congregating in one area.
The discovery was made in 2012 but only recently became public knowledge. The find was confirmed when a dive team and experts from Louisiana State University took the 60 foot plunge and found a primeval cypress forest nearly one mile wide. The thriving eco system has stood devoid of oxygen for over 12,000 years. Some of the tree stumps found are half-a-mile in diameter. Scientists from Louisiana State tested some of the samples brought up by divers that proved to be 52,000 years old. That means these trees were probably thriving during an period earlier than the Ice Age. Incredibly researchers say the inside of the tree appears to still be hard.
That’s the good news and now for the bad.
Experts believe the primeval forest has two years to survive now that it is exposed to the ravages of the sea that include burrowing sea life uprooting the ancient tree stumps. There are some fallen logs that are already covered by sea crustaceans.
What’s next for the primeval underwater forest that is owned more by the sea than it is by the U.S. or Mexico – is another mystery. Divers can only access this underground treasure 40 minutes at a time to derive any useful information.
Go for a dive and check out this Live Science video for yourself before its too late.