USM professor helps uncover underwater forest - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

USM professor helps uncover underwater forest

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Divers have discovered an underwater forest in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles off the coast of Mobile, Ala.

It's called the Bald Cyprus Forest. It was buried in 60 feet of water under ocean sediments and protected in an oxygen free environment for more than 50,000 years, until hurricanes uncovered it.

Grant Harley is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. He studies tree rings.

Harley is conducting research in Hattiesburg to find out more about the ancient forest, including the age of the wood, and climate conditions.

Harley tells WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg (http://bit.ly/189LqcM) that the wood found underwater looks, feels, and even smells like a regular piece of wood, except for the fact that it is over 50,000 years old.

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Information from: WDAM-TV, http://www.wdam.com

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