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Images of a Primeval Underwater Forest Revealed

Bright red fish

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Three flame cardinal fish hover close to the reef. Usually nocturnal, the fish are often seen in caves and dark places. They inhabit the nooks and crannies of the forest.

Sea life abounds

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

An endangered Kemp's Ridley turtle makes a living rummaging for food in the Underwater Forest. Remoras, or suckerfish, hitch a ride by sticking to the turtles back with a suction pad on the top of their heads.

World of life

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

A large school of vermillion snapper swarm over a stump that has been colonized by sponges in the Underwater Forest.

Exploring the forest

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Dr. Martin Becker, a paleontologist from William Paterson University in New Jersey, studies the Underwater Forest.

Too close for comfort

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Filmmaker Ben Raines has a close call with a small but inquisitive sandbar shark while filming in the Underwater Forest.

Ancient fossils

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Fossilized sharks' teeth can be found by the hundreds in certain rivers in central Alabama, a hundred miles inland. The teeth were left behind from an era 100 million years ago, when a giant and ancient sea covered much of the United States.

Shark teeth

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Fossilized sharks' teeth can be found by the hundreds in certain rivers in central Alabama, a hundred miles inland. The teeth were left behind from an era 100 million years ago, when a giant and ancient sea covered much of the United States.

Ancient ice age

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

The Underwater Forest dates to an ice age 60,000 years ago, when much of the water on Earth was frozen in glaciers. Here, a glacier in modern times.

Shoreline changes

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Deep Time Maps)

This image shows the Gulf shoreline during an ice age 60,000 years ago. You can see the ancient shoreline, the modern shoreline, and the spot where the forest was found.

Underwater forest

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Deep Time Maps)

This image shows the Gulf shoreline during an ice age 60,000 years ago. You can see the ancient shoreline, the modern shoreline, and the spot where the forest was found.

Tia Ghose

Tia is the assistant managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.