Sixty feet under the Gulf of Mexico lie the remains of an 50,000-year-old forest. Diver and photographer Ben Raines took some amazing photos of the site and sent samples of the trees — which still look like trees — to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for radiocarbon dating. You can see sap in a cross-section of the wood and, when it's cut, Raines says it still smells like fresh cypress.

28 Responses to “Ancient forest off the coast of Alabama”

  1. novium says:

    Man, that’s so cool it almost makes up for the extreme case of the heebie jeebies the RATter article left me with.

  2. JonS says:

    There is a lake in NZ, Lake Waikaremoana, that was formed *mumble* thousand years ago when a landslide blocked off river valley. Because this wasn’t a traumatic event (like a massive earthquake or volcanic eruption) the forest of fully grown and healthy trees in the area slowly submerged under the rising water.

    The trees are still there. And it is very spooky odd to kayak over them, or stand on the ridge above and look down through the water at them.

  3. Geoff Glave says:

    Just south of the coast are 50,000 year-old-trees.  Just north of the coast are people who believe the earth is only 6000 years old. 

    • Saltine says:

      An easy laugh for the cheap seats. Since I recently had the misfortune to move to Alabama (from my home state of Tennessee), let me just note one counter-example to the ever-present idea that Southerners are only fit to bang bibles: E.O. Wilson graduated from the University of Alabama. Since I’m procrastinating, I’ll throw in one more datum suggesting we’re not all slack-jawed yokels down here: http://apps.cadc.auburn.edu/rural-studio/Default.aspx

    • dmabury says:

      I have family in Alabama and they’re good people, but holy crap. The AL.com comment thread on that article is depressing and completely predictable.

      • justaddh3o says:

        About as predictable as boingboing comments about how backwards Alabama is…how trite

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          If Alabamans don’t want to be the butt of jokes, maybe they should stop acting like punchlines. Butthurt, butthurt punchlines.

          • Gordon Klock says:

            Neither Alabama, nor the South in have any sort of ‘corner of the market’ when it comes to human stupidity,there are plenty of ‘slack-jawed yokels’ in all the ‘Yankee’ states as well.(I think the majority of the entire country is painfully retarded & the rest of the world knows it.)
            I apologise if I show a lack of humor,I just thought it needed to be said…

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Neither Alabama, nor the South in have any sort of ‘corner of the market’ when it comes to human stupidity,there are plenty of ‘slack-jawed yokels’ in all the ‘Yankee’ states as well.

            Funnily enough, there are remarkably few people in the North arguing for teaching creationism in schools, making it illegal to talk about being gay, denying women the right to choose what they do with their own bodies. You don’t want to be the laughing stock of the developed world? Fix your shit.

          • Christopher says:

            Funnily enough, there are remarkably few people in the North arguing for teaching creationism in schools, making it illegal to talk about being gay, denying women the right to choose what they do with their own bodies.

            As a native Tennessean I always want to object to the stereotypes of Southerners, but then I look at our state legislature, sigh, and admit that even if we’re not all like that our elected officials do a great deal to keep the stereotypes alive.

            On the other hand the infamous “Don’t say gay, and your guidance counselors and teachers have to out you to your parents” bill looks positively benign compared to the statements made by Tennessee’s state representative Richard Floyd about transgendered people.

          • OtherMichael says:

            in those caps they wear, they’re just ASKING FOR IT!

          • Kelly Amsbry says:

             Yep. Read the comments on the article (warning, it is a time sink) and see the immediate Adam & Even and Jesus & dinosaur arguments. They are doing a great job of validating the stereotypes.

          • justaddh3o says:

            Or perhaps we shouldn’t perpetuate negative stereotypes based on geography. Nah, who am I kidding? I’m responding to Anon on the internet

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Or perhaps we shouldn’t perpetuate negative stereotypes based on geography.

            Or maybe the people complaining about being stereotyped should spend less time feeling sorry for themselves and more time fixing the problems which cause real suffering to the less-privileged in their benighted backwaters.

      • Preston Sturges says:

        >>The AL.com comment thread on that article is depressing 

        Actually the headlines for the whole site are pretty depressing

  4. I’m sorry Antinous, but I’m calling asshole here. You’re being a real jerk and perpetuating stereotypes that, while having a basis in reality, are far from the whole truth.
    Condemning a whole group for the behavior of smaller sub-groups within them? Not so enlightened.
    I was raised in the South, within the Southern Baptist Church, with relatives who were in the Klan. I also had remarkable worldly relations and friends who were freethinkers, atheists, and civil rights activists.
    How about during the Bush administration when we became the “laughing stock of the developed world”? Did you single-handedly change that overnight? Nope. But you’re vastly superior to all of “the South” because the good, intelligent and fair people who live there haven’t been able to change things as fast as you like and in the manner that you’d like.
    Oh, and I would remind you that arguments for creation, against LGBT rights, and against reproductive freedom are NOT restricted to the South . . . unless Wisconsin, Indiana and Kansas (just to name a few) are now Southern.

  5. Preston Sturges says:

    Not really sure why this is news.  Much of the Gulf Of Mexico was dry land during the ice ages, with forests, river channels, and fresh water springs. Certain Gulf coast beaches are stained dark by ancient peat and wood, and the teeth of extinct grazing animals wash up.  

    • Ty_MY says:

      It’s news to me. You added some new, useful info too.
      If only you didn’t include the first sentence of your comment. Now, you’re *that* guy..

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