(Photo: AL.com screen shot)
An underwater forest has been found by scuba divers off the coast of Alabama, according to reports out this week.
The extraordinary underwater forest is made up of Bald Cypress trees, and is believed to have been buried under ocean sediments in an oxygen-free environment for thousands of years, according to Live Science.
Some scientists have suggested that the forest has been uncovered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That proposal has been suggested by Ben Raines, a diver and the executive director of the nonprofit Weeks Bay Foundation, who was one of the first to explore the newly found forest.
Scientists have described that the forest contains a Cypress tree span of about 0.5 square miles.
Some samples have been taken from the forest, and scientists have described that the trees are so well preserved that they still smell like cypress after being cut.
Raines has worked with Grant Harley, a dendrochronologist at the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as geographer Kristine DeLong of Louisiana State University, to create a sonar map of the forest. They have also been able to analyze various samples taken from the trees.
They believe that the samples will help them understand thousands of years worth of information about the climate history in the area.
Harley has told Our Amazing Planet: "These stumps are so big, they're upwards of two meters in diameter -- the size of trucks. They probably contain thousands of growth rings."
However, now that the forest has been exposed it is believed that there will only be about two to three years before marine organisms destroy the forest. Harley has said, "The longer this wood sits on the bottom of the ocean, the more marine organisms burrow into the wood, which can create hurdles when we are trying to get radiocarbon dates. It can really make the sample undatable, unusable."
Here is a video report showing the extraordinary underwater forest: