Monday 13 August 2007

8 Million year old Preserved Forest Discovered

The 8-million-year old tree trunks still feel like wood to the touch as this BBC video shows, The area inwhich these trees (are of a species known as swamp cypresses) are still standing preserved by the history of their location. Archaeologists found the 16 preserved trunks in an open cast coal mine in the north-eastern city of Bukkabrany, Hungary. The specimens were preserved intact while most of the forest turned to coal thanks to a casing of sand, which was perhaps the result of a sandstorm.

It is hoped the trees may offer experts a valuable insight into Earth's climate eight million years ago since the trunks are made of organic material, it is possible to conduct dendrochronology tests, which study tree rings to determine climatic changes during a tree's life. The stumps, 2-3m (10ft) in diameter and 6m (19ft) high, stand uncovered on the lowest level of the mine. Urgent measures are being taken to preserve them after an attempt to move one of the trunks failed.

Source Middle East Times
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