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Images of a Primeval Underwater Forest Revealed

Studying the forest

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Dr. Kristine DeLong, a paleoclimatologist at Louisiana State University, swims over the Underwater Forest for the first time.

Taking samples

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Dr. Kristine DeLong, a paleoclimatologist from Louisiana State University, drills a coring machine into a stump to extract a sample of growth rings inside the tree.

Fresh wood

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Fresh grain inside a piece of the Underwater Forest shows how well the wood is preserved. This wood is 60,000 years old.

Studying the forest

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Red snapper watch as Dave Carlton, a member of the Underwater Forest dive crew, cuts a small alder stump with a bow saw.

Pristine condition

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

This piece of wood sports a gallery carved by a beetle 60,000 years ago. Look closely and you can see the bark is still present on this piece of cypress.

Perfectly preserved

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

The tight grain of this piece of cypress shows that the tree grew in a colder, harsher world than the one we know today.

Huge stump

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Divers float a log from the Underwater Forest to the surface for examination by scientists.

Analyzing tree rings

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Dr. Grant Harley, a dendrochronologist at the University of Southern Mississippi, seals samples from the Underwater Forest in a fume hood to dry them out slowly. He dried them for a month to ensure the pieces did not crack.

Fresh wood

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Cut with a band saw, wood from the Underwater Forest released a fresh resin smell when cut, and remants of sap leaked out, sap that was created 60,000 years ago.

Wood samples

Primeval Underwater Forest