In the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Alabama, divers have discovered an underwater forest rising out of the sediment, 60 feet below the surface. Ben Raines — an environmental reporter for the Mobile Press Register, told the Washington Post, “It was like entering a fairy world. You get down there, and there are these cypress trees, and there are logs lying on the bottom, and you can touch them and peel the bark off. It was an otherworldly experience where you knew you were in this ancient place.”
The wood from the ancient trees has been dated to around 50,000 years ago, when the seal level was far lower and much of North America was covered by a one-mile thick sheet of ice. The Washington Post reports:
Scientists believe the forest may have remained hidden were it not for Hurricane Ivan, which caused billions of dollars in damage after it slammed into the Alabama and Florida coast in 2004. The storm produced massive waves that may have scooped out about 10 feet of sediment covering the forest.
Thanks to Phil Leon for contributing to this post.