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Images of a Primeval Underwater Forest Revealed

Vibracore machine

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

A team from Lousiana State University lower a vibracore machine into the Gulf to capture ancient sediments. The results showed that this forest resembled a North Carolina forest of today, rather than a Gulf Coast forest. In essence, it was a forest designed for a colder climate.

Sediment cores

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Sediment cores from the Underwater Forest showed that this forest resembled a North Carolina forest of today, rather than a Gulf Coast forest. In essence, it was a forest designed for a colder climate.

Swimming through

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

A triggerfish, stage right, eyes a group of juvenile blue and yellow cocoa damselfish. Also known as beau gregories, the small fish transform to a cocoa color when adults.

Knees of the cypress

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Cypress knees are believed the help the trees stay upright in the soupy mud at the bottom of the great Southern swamps.

Barren landscape

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Most of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is a barren desert, inhabited by starfish and jellyfish and little else.

Sole sealife

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Most of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is a barren desert, inhabited by starfish and jellyfish and little else.

Massive stumps

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Stumps the size of garbage cans and a log as big around as a telephone pole in this tableau of life on the living reef that the ancient forest has become.

Hurricane Ivan

Primeval Underwater Forest

(Image credit: Ben Raines)

Hurricane Ivan, seen here as it came ashore, passed right over the spot where the Underwater Forest was discovered.