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Secrets of the Gulf

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Nature and Tree Nerd

If you’re a nature/tree nerd such as myself then listen up, you may find this story interesting.

Back in 2013, a sonar scan of the gulf floor got a strange reading off the coast of Alabama. From the reading, it appeared that several hundred lumpy structures were protruding from the ocean floor, covering an area of over a half a square mile. Scuba Divers set off to discover what lies beneath and were shocked at what they found. 60 feet under the surface sat the remains of a ancient forest. Both stumps and larger fallen trunks were observed but no one at the time knew what exactly they were looking at. Over the next several months, the site became a popular diving location and gained the attention of the local non-profit, The Weeks Bay Foundation, whom ordered testing of the mystery wood at the ocean floor. Turns out that the stumps and fallen timber at the site are remains of a Bald Cypress forest dating back to over 60,000 years ago. The forest had been stuck under thick ocean deposits, sealed without oxygen for tens of thousands of years, preserving the wood of these ancient trees. Over the years the layers were peeled back by storms and tides, finally uncovering the underwater treescape. Some samples of wood were so well preserved that sap could be smelled upon drilling through the inner heart-wood of the timber….after 60,000 years! Who knows what the Gulf will cough up next!