50,000-Year-Old Cypress Forest Discovered 60 Feet Underwater Off Mobile, Alabama

“These stumps are so big, they're upwards of two meters (6 feet) in diameter -  the size of trucks. They probably contain thousands of growth rings.”

- Grant Harley, Ph.D., Geography, Univ. of So. Mississippi

 

The half-mile-long stretch of underwater cypress has been radiocarbon-dated to between 50,000 and 80,000 years old. Its preservation was by sand cover that kept the cypress free of oxygen until Hurricane Katrina on August 23, 2005, exposed the ancient trees at a depth of 60 feet beneath the Gulf waters 15 miles off Mobile, Alabama's shore. That discovery was kept secret until 2012 when newspaper reporter Ben Raines was approached to investigate the cypress. See the Weeks Bay Foundation. Image © 2012 by Ben Raines and AL.com.
The half-mile-long stretch of underwater cypress has been radiocarbon-dated to between 50,000 and 80,000 years old. Its preservation was by sand cover that kept the cypress free of oxygen until Hurricane Katrina on August 23, 2005, exposed the ancient trees at a depth of 60 feet beneath the Gulf waters 15 miles off Mobile, Alabama's shore. That discovery was kept secret until 2012 when newspaper reporter Ben Raines was approached to investigate the cypress. See the Weeks Bay Foundation.
Image © 2012 by Ben Raines and AL.com.

July 25, 2013  Mobile, Alabama - Ancient bald cypress forests (Taxodium distichumonce) dominated swamps in the southeastern United States for at least 2,000 years.

 

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