The Gulf's 60,000-year-old underwater forest reveals its secrets in a new documentary (2023)

South of Gulf Shores, some 60 feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, lies a completely unique relic of our planet's past. The ancient cypress forest is around 60,000 years old, say a team of scientists who studied it, and is the only known place where an ancient coastal forest has survived from the ice age, with thousands of trees still rooted in the earth that grew thousands of years. years ago. 🇧🇷

It is considered a treasure trove of information that provides new insights into everything from the region's climate to annual rainfall, insect populations, and plant species that inhabited the Gulf Coast before humans arrived in the New World.

Scientific analysis is ongoing, with the team's work investigating the site detailed in a new documentary.the underwater forest", co-produced byhere is alabama🇧🇷 The film was written and directed's Ben Raines, who also filmed the underwater sequences and organized the first scientific missions to the site.

One of the most important things that the forest can herald is a world where the seas will rise even faster than pessimistic predictions for the near future.

Scientists believe the forest was buried under Gulf sediments for eons until huge waves revealed it in 2004.

That year, Hurricane Ivan crossed the Gulf as a Category 5 storm before making landfall. Its winds pushed the largest waves on record, reaching 100 feet in height as they swept a cluster of government data buoys far offshore. These buoys were eventually torn from their moorings by the storm.

AL.comcollected the first forest samples and participated in all scientific missions to the site since 2012. Our teams visited laboratories at Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, where forest samples were analyzed.

Time travel under the waves

Descending 10 fathoms below the green waves of the Gulf and stepping back in time to this prehistoric world is like stepping back in time. Nothing resembling the forest in terms of age or size has ever been found. Some trees, perhaps 1,000 years old, have been found on the coast of England and in a few other places, but they grew in a world we know well and that is very similar to ours in every way.

Growing on the bottom of the Alabama sea, these trees are so much older that they offer a window into a past that scientists are still trying to understand. And there are thousands of them, part of a vast lowland swamp forest. Scientists believe the trees were buried under layers of mud at a time when sea levels were rising suddenly. This mud protected the trees from decay, insulating them from the oxygen-rich waters of the Gulf.

Underwater, where there is no oxygen, decomposition does not occur. In fact, the trees were hermetically sealed in a kind of natural time capsule.

The trees discovered here predate the arrival of humans in North America and the pyramids of ancient Egypt by more than 50,000 years. Coming from an ice age 60,000 years ago, when sea levels were hundreds of meters lower and the Earth much colder than it is today, much of the planet's water is trapped in glaciers.

"The" ice age most people know about occurred 12,000 to 18,000 years ago, but the planet has been visited by dozens of ice ages, reaching every 40,000 to 100,000 years.

(Video) Inside look at 60,000-year-old underwater forest off Alabama's coast

Kristine DeLong, a paleoclimatologist at Louisiana State University, specializes in past climate disturbances. She often studies coral formations, which can shed light on what the world's oceans and atmosphere were like thousands of years ago. she made contactAL.comafter the first article announcing the discovery of the forest and said that he would like to try diving at the site and analyze the trees.

At that time, like any expert, DeLong was contacted byAL.comHe said the trees almost certainly date back to the most recent Ice Age, which has been extensively studied by scientists.

But things changed after that.AL.comprovided DeLong with tree samples from the forest, which he sent to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for analysis using a method known as Accelerator Mass Spectrometer Radio-Carbon Dating.

“At first, just based on the depth of the water and looking at the sea level curve, we thought the trees should be in the 10,000 to 12,000 (year) range. But we took some wood samples and sent them for radiocarbon dating, and we got surprising results: they couldn't date them," DeLong said.

Radiocarbon dating can only go back about 50,000 years, and the closer you get to 50,000 years, the less reliable the dates become. Several follow-up tests on additional samples confirmed that the trees were called "radiocarbon killed." DeLong then approached a team of LSU geologists, who collected deep-sea samples known as vibracores.

advance in the past

The Vibracore machine drills a metal tube about 4 inches in diameter into the seabed. It can penetrate up to 9 feet of sediment, trapping that column of soil and returning it to the surface. The sediment trapped in the tube offers a clear chronology of the past, with layers of sand and mud added over the millennia. Using extremely sensitive sonar equipment, the LSU team was able to find an area with a large number of trees that were still completely buried in layers of sediment. In some cases, these trees were more than 3 meters deep.

Using vibracores, DeLong's team was able to find material from about 45,000 years ago that was new enough to register with radiocarbon dating. Then, by measuring how many centimeters of sediment separated that layer from the surface and the deeper layer where the forest is located, DeLong was able to calculate the age of the forest.

“In these sediment cores, just above the level where the forest is, we had some other pieces of wood. We collected these pieces and that data is about 42,000 years old and we have a second dating of 45,000 years,” DeLong said. ."

During that previous ice age, sea levels along the Gulf Coast were about 120 meters lower than they are today, and the Gulf Coast was 30 to 60 miles further offshore than our modern beaches. . Dauphin Island and the Fort Morgan Peninsula, off the Alabama coast, were real mountains at the time, rising hundreds of feet above the surrounding landscape. And Mobile Bay was a wooded valley with a river running through it. At various points in the distant past, the rivers now entering the Mobile-Tensaw Delta flowed south until they met the Mississippi River, which in this era of former Louisiana curved sharply to the east and along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama was headed for Florida. . Panhandle before entering the Gulf.

In this now flooded zone between the modern coast and the more distant ancient coast was the underwater forest. Scientists believe this part of the forest was miles from the Gulf coast at the time because the cypress trees cannot tolerate salt.

“We are in this period called Marine Isotopic Stage 3. Here we are in fully glaciated conditions, but not yet fully glaciated. It's colder, it's windier. One of the things that paleoclimatologists want to understand about this period is what happened to the different ecosystems. How did a bald cypress swamp respond to sea level changes and cool down?" DeLong said.

old pollen

(Video) The Underwater Forest

Interestingly, an analysis of the types of pollen found in LSU vibracores provides intriguing clues as to how a bald cypress forest coped with these changes in sea level and a colder climate. In fact, pollen records suggest that the underwater forest was more like a coastal forest you'd find in North Carolina today, where winters are much colder than on the Gulf Coast.

Andy Reese, a pollenologist at the University of Southern Mississippi, specializes in reconstructing past environments by looking at the pollen left behind by different plant species. He analyzed the deepest vibes collected by LSU.

"The top meter of this core is just Holocene sand, like burying your feet in a beach. Then the next meter is sand and clay from the sea. Then all of a sudden it turns to peat. That's the weirdest thing I've ever seen." seen in my life." seen in an ocean core like this flowing two feet of perfectly preserved peat," Reese said. Peat is decaying organic matter found at the bottom of swamps and bogs.

"When I started looking at the pollen, I was quite surprised to see that it was all terrestrial. At first it looked like you shoveled dirt out of a swamp on the other side of town today. That was it." in terms of species present, but when I started counting how many of each type of pollen I found, it was clear that the different types were dominant."

In fact, the type of forest that Reese rebuilt no longer exists on the Gulf Coast today. Instead, the mix of species with the dominant cypress, alder, and oak trees fit into a rare type of forest that can be found along coastal North Carolina and South Carolina today and is known as the Blackwater Levee Atlantic Coastal Plain. ./Bar Forest. In essence, the underwater forest was not like a modern Gulf Coast swamp. Rather, it was a forest destined for a colder place.

This fits perfectly with what the trees themselves have to say about the world around them.

At the Dendron Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi, by examining the tree rings present in several samples, Grant Harley was able to create a timeline spanning about 500 years of forest life and deduced that this is the case for the gulf coast. it was a colder and less hospitable place than it is today. Harley, a dendrochronologist, or tree researcher, took the lead in preserving and analyzing the physical pieces of wood collected from the seabed.

“This was an important milestone in our understanding of the forest. If you think about the samples you collected, these are not ideal conditions. He's been in 60 feet of water, he's got limited bottom time, he's sampling the stumps in place, taking bottom samples. It's not easy to put them all together. It's actually very rare. I can't think of any other study that could do this," Harley said.

Harley doesn't dive. The samples she analyzed were collected by a team of LSU scientists, divers from the Underwater Works Dive Shop in Fairhope and theAL.comTechnical team.

There are about 10 wood samples from the underwater forest that are useful for dendrochronology, he said.

"I took these 10 samples, crushed them up, and wanted to see if I could match the wide and narrow ring patterns that I see in these samples. If I could put them together, that meant those trees were growing, they were alive at the same time," Harley said. . "Drying the samples was challenging because you have this wood that's been under water for tens of thousands of years. I did some research with people who work with submerged wood and you can check your sample and split it if it dries out very quickly, so I put the wood in a fume hood where I was able to control the conditions a bit. A period of about a month and a half."

60,000 year old sap

When the dry wood came out of the trigger, Harley was delighted.

(Video) The Underwater Forest 720p (EnglischDocumenteries 24HD)

“As we were running these samples through the bandsaw, you could smell the resin, like you were cutting a piece of fresh wood today. The same applies when sanding them. They smell fresh. Very well preserved,” Harley said. "Given the fact that these samples are thousands of years old, I was surprised.

One of their most amazing discoveries: sap tens of thousands of years old oozed out of the wood as it was being cut.

“There are very few natural archives of long-term climate change in the Gulf Coast region,” Harley said. "That this giant tree stump site discovered by the hurricane is still rooted in the sediments that covered it is a very rare and unique opportunity."

Once the wood was dry, Harley was able to examine it using standard dendrochronology techniques.

"Whatever question you're trying to answer, whether it's drought, how an invasion of insects has affected some trees, or a disease, start by lining up the rings and crossing the trees. Sure enough, I have 10 of them to match. All they fit together for 500 years," Harley said. "They weren't alive for all 500 years, but all of these trees were alive at some point during those 500 years. This is what we call a fluctuating chronology. Some are older, some are younger, but they all interbred while they were alive. ."

The samples showed that at least one of the trees lived to be around 500 years old. During several reconnaissance trips ofAL.comBefore the scientists visited the forest, the divers measured two trees that were 3 meters in diameter and almost 9 meters in circumference. In other words, some of these ancient trees that grew in a forest eons before humans arrived rivaled redwoods in size.

"If you look at the timeline of that 500-year period, the most recent growth of the trees, right around the time that they were all dying, the growth really slowed down, which is very exciting," Harley said. "This suggests that these trees died around the same time and under adverse conditions. They were under stress. For example, drowning in salt water due to sea level rise. Cypress does not tolerate salt water intrusion. If water If salt walks into a cypress forest, those trees will die. That's what these results suggest. That's probably the most likely scenario."

This scenario coincides with the result of a pollen analysis.

"Other than this section of peat, the pollen is mostly grass. There's pollen from sedges and a variety of other grasses. It's very grass-dominated. That's the main story," said Reese, the pollen scientist. “But if you go back in time, it changes a bit. The grass begins to thin out and then cypress pollen begins to appear. Then the alder begins to appear. You make the transition from dominant grasses to dominant trees.”

That, Reese said, would probably be a very typical response to climate change with fluctuating sea levels.

To understand the significance of the transition from trees to grass at this point, consider a modern river delta. Plants in a river delta change as we go upstream. The grass grows in the marshy land at the mouth of the river. First, there are the marsh, spartan, and juncus grasses, just as we see them in a coastal marsh. Then, as the water gets colder, we see various species of juncos and cirpus, as well as the various species of juncos, then larger juncos. Behind them, further inland, the trees begin. Now imagine that this river delta recedes year by year, with the grassy shore closest to the sea receding farther and farther north as sea level rises.

It seems that such a transition can be documented in pollen collected from the underwater forest. From the moment the trees died, there was a constant transition in pollen collection, ending with nothing more than typical seaside estuary grasses. Then everything was swallowed by the sea and buried under the mud and finally the sand. Reese said those conclusions are enticing, but more study is needed.

Here for quite a while, not too long

(Video) LSU Science Café: Ancient Underwater Forest, April 2019

AL.comhe also invited paleontologist Martin Becker of William Paterson University to visit the site. Becker specializes in fossils. He found the bones of a woolly mammoth and other Ice Age land animals during diving expeditions off the Atlantic coast and is trying to find signs of extinct squirrel-like mammals that may have lived in the underwater forest.

He said the past provides a key to understanding how the forest formed so far offshore. Becker made a career hunting shark teeth and other ancient bones in Alabama streams.AL.comHe joined in on many of their adventures and published stories over the years. The day after his first dive in the forest, which included a close encounter with a shark, Becker searched for 35-million-year-old shark teeth under a waterfall on the Sepulga River.

"We're about 100 miles from the nearest shoreline and we're pulling fossilized shark teeth from this modern creek. You certainly won't see sharks swimming behind you. More than half of Alabama was once submerged in an ancient ocean that dates back to the ancient times of the dinosaurs," Becker said. "The record of that is in the fossil record and regional geology... the underwater forest is about 120 miles away and the water in that area is about 60 feet deep, so obviously you're talking about a considerable amount." of sea in this area". it used to be like a modern cypress forest, today the sea level has risen and now it is rising and that is to be back in this area we are sitting in. When the time comes, the sharks will come too. It will only take a while! "

For any scientist working with the underwater forest, studying the past is really trying to understand and prepare for the future.

"Geologically speaking, it's a pretty rapid change," Becker said shortly after his first dive into the forest. "We're looking at 60 feet of seawater where there used to be a forest." He continued: “I'm looking at a lot of coastal homes and condo developments. … The forest predicts the future, and perhaps a rather unpleasant future.

In fact, DeLong said the period when the underwater forest grew on land was a difficult time for the planet, with significant upheaval.

“It seems that all the trees have been through some stress events. Something happened to everyone where their growth slowed down very quickly and then increased rapidly. And then the growth slows down again very quickly, and it looks like all the trees died at the same time,” DeLong said. “Sea levels from 40 to 50,000 years ago are not stable. They go up and down, up and down. And some of them will be tens of meters high in just 1,000 years.”

For the record, DeLong says sea levels will rise or fall about 75 feet in just 1,000 years. This would result in a sea level rise of about 2.5 meters every 100 years, or even faster than current worst-case predictions for the near future.

Becker said science provides such concrete evidence about climate change and sea level fluctuation that he fears politicians today are spending too much time arguing about the role pollution may have played in our current climate, rather than focusing on How to prepare for the changes. to come.

"When you study the past, fossils and things like that, you start to think, 'We haven't been here very long, we've just been here a long time,'" Becker said. “The sea rises, as in the past. The places where we live will be flooded like the underwater forest. It could happen in five years, it could happen in 10 years, it can't happen in my lifetime, but it will happen."

The evidence, he said, is all around us, from fossils in the ground to this ancient forest under the sea.


"the underwater forest”, a new documentary by Ben Raines, produced byhere is alabamaIt's inAlabama Coastal Foundation, follows the work of a team investigating a scientific marvel 60 feet below the Gulf of Mexico off the Alabama coast. About 60,000 years ago, this area was home to a cypress forest that was buried and preserved under Gulf sediments for thousands of years until it was exposed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. An investigative reporter, Raines has been involved with environmental issues and natural wonders in Alabama for nearly two decades. He wrote and produced the of america, which was distributed to Alabama public schools and airs on PBS stations across the country. His underwater film work has been featured in documentaries on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV.

(Video) Unusual Wales | The Most Remote Phone Box & An Underwater Forest


Did the Gulf of Mexico used to be a forest? ›

The Underwater Forest details the discovery and exploration of an ancient cypress forest found sixty feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, due south of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The forest dates to an ice age more than 60,000 years ago, when sea levels were about 400 feet lower than they are today.

How long ago was Alabama underwater? ›

During the Late Cretaceous some 82 million years ago, high temperatures melted the polar ice caps submerging the world's coasts. A shallow sea known as the Mississippi Embayment spilled out over the southeastern United States, blanketing much of Alabama.

How much of Alabama was under water? ›

Certainly you don't see any sharks swimming around behind you. More than half the state of Alabama at one time was submerged underneath an ancestral ocean that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs,” Becker said.

Is there a petrified forest in Alabama? ›

The Underwater Forest is an area of fossilized cypress trees submerged 60 feet underwater off the coast of Alabama. These trees date back to over 60,000 years ago, and were buried by sediment underwater until 2004, when Hurricane Ivan uncovered it.

Could Sahara be forested? ›

The Sahara is the world's largest hot desert, but parts of it could be made green if massive solar and wind farms set up shop there, a new study finds.

Can desert turn back into a forest? ›

While it is technically possible to turn a desert into a forest, it is a process that would probably take more than several decades. The process of turning deserts into forests is called desert greening, and it is something that has been going on for several years now.

Was the US once underwater? ›

The Ancient Depths

Did you know that many of the lands that now make up America's national parks were once completely underwater? More than 100 million years ago, a giant inland sea divided North America into two smaller landmasses. This sea stretched from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Montana!

Was a Arizona was underwater once? ›

Arizona was still covered by a shallow sea during the ensuing Cambrian period of the Paleozoic era. Brachiopods, trilobites and other contemporary marine life of Arizona left behind remains in the western region of the state. The sea withdrew from the state during the Ordovician and Silurian.

Did dinosaurs live in Alabama? ›

A relative of T. rex, Appalachiosaurus was the dominant predator in Alabama during the Late Cretaceous Period. The bones on display in this exhibit come from the most complete Appalachiosaurus ever discovered and represent the most complete tyrannosaur ever found in the eastern half of the United States.

How deep is the water off of Gulf Shores? ›

The deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico, Sigsbee Deep, is estimated to be around 14,383 feet deep while the average depth is around 5,300 feet.

Is Gulf Shores Alabama below sea level? ›

Where does Alabama get its drinking water? ›

Water comes from wells which tap underground aquifers and from the Tennessee River. This water is purified in accordance with rules and regulations of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Can you take petrified wood from the Petrified Forest? ›

You may collect reasonable amounts of specimens. Generally, a reasonable amount is up to 10 pounds. Commercial use is defined as any trading, bartering, or selling fossils or petrified wood from National Forest System lands.

Can petrified wood be found anywhere? ›

South Dakota, North Dakota, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are all home to fantastic petrified forests. Mississippi, Washington, and Oregon are, as well. Petrified wood can also be found in numerous places in South America, Europe, Australia, India, and China, among others.

Is it illegal to take petrified wood from the Petrified Forest? ›

It is a minimum fine of $325 for removal or damage to petrified wood or other natural or cultural artifacts and features. Park in designated areas.

Will the Sahara turn green again? ›

The next Northern Hemisphere summer insolation maximum — when the Green Sahara could reappear — is projected to happen again about 10,000 years from now in A.D. 12000 or A.D. 13000. But what scientists can't predict is how greenhouse gases will affect this natural climate cycle.

Did humans cause the Sahara? ›

New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification.

Can you reverse a desert? ›

Holistic Planned Grazing, or Management Intensive Grazing (MiG), gives rise to a planned grazing strategy that has been proven to reverse desertification. This practice has worked in many arid and semi-arid regions of world where desertification has occurred.

Will the Earth turn into a desert? ›

It is also predicted that Earth will become a desert planet within a billion years due to the Sun's increasing luminosity.

Can life grow in a desert land? ›

And most deserts, far from being empty and lifeless, are home to a variety of plants, animals, and other organisms. People have adapted to life in the desert for thousands of years. One thing all deserts have in common is that they are arid, or dry.

Which country will go underwater? ›

According to the World Economic Forum (opens in new tab), by 2100, Dhaka, Bangladesh (population 22.4 million); Lagos, Nigeria (population 15.3 million); and Bangkok, Thailand (population 9 million) could also be entirely drowned or have vast tracts of land underwater and unusable.

Is half of the US territory underwater? ›

Over 50% of US territory lies beneath the ocean surface and such mapping could also expand American territorial and resource claims.

Is 50% of the US underwater? ›

Not only does a large part of the planet exist beneath the ocean, so does the United States – around 50 per cent, in fact.

Will Arizona ever run out of water? ›

Arizona leads the nation with rigorous water conservation efforts, and because of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act, Arizona has the legal and physical infrastructure that maintains a 100-year assured water supply to meet the current and future needs of residents and industry.

How Fast Is Phoenix sinking? ›

Between 1957 and 1992, geologists had measured 18 feet of subsidence by the base. It has slowed down dramatically, to where it's only maybe an inch or two a year. Another spot in the northeast Phoenix-Scottsdale area subsided about 5 feet by the early '90s as well.

Did any dinosaurs live in Arizona? ›

Arizona. Arizona is home to fossils from more than 15 dinosaur species. The state's natural history museum displays the most significant collection. Some of the most prominent prehistoric fossils come from the Dilophosaurus, Sarahsaurus, Sonorasaurus, Chindesaurus, and Segisaurus.

What dinosaur has 5000 teeth? ›

Nigersaurus Temporal range: Aptian – Albian
11 more rows

Did any dinosaurs live in America? ›

North American herbivorous dinosaurs from this time period include the titanosaur sauropod Alamosaurus, the ceratopsians Bravoceratops, Regaliceratops, Triceratops, Leptoceratops, Torosaurus, Nedoceratops, Tatankaceratops (the latter two possible species of Triceratops), and Ojoceratops, the pachycephalosaurs ...

Where did the last dinosaurs live? ›

The fossil that has been found in a phosphate mine in northern Morocco is of the last living African dinosaurs called Chenanisaurus barbaricus. The Chenanisaurus barbaricus species is said to be one of the last ones to have survived on Earth before an asteroid strike wiped them all out about 66 million years ago.

Are there sharks in Gulf Shores Alabama? ›

Shark sightings are a regular occurrence along the Alabama Gulf Coast, but Dr. Sean Powers insists that indicates a healthy ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is Destin sand so white? ›

The unique white sand on the beaches of Destin, Miramar Beach, and 30A come from small quartz particles from the Appalachian Mountains over 20,000 years ago. The Apalachicola River carried water and these quartz particles to the Gulf of Mexico and still continues to do so today.

Why is the sand at Gulf Shores so white? ›

The sand is made from pure white quartz crystal, which came from the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the last Ice Age and was deposited into the Gulf of Mexico.

How cold does it get in Gulf Shores Alabama in the winter? ›

Winters in are mild and usually dry and sunny. The average high temperature in December in Gulf Shores is around 62 degrees. Lows stay above freezing in the mid-forties.

Can you swim in Gulf Shores Beach? ›

The City of Gulf Shores provides seasonal lifeguard services between March and September and encourages the public to swim at the protected public swimming areas (Gulf Place, West 6th Street, and Lagoon Pass) when lifeguards are present.

Is Gulf Shores Alabama water Safe? ›

Water Quality Status Indicators

Indicates that, based on the most recent test, water quality is acceptable. Enterococci levels were at or below the EPA threshold of 104 colonies per 100 milliliters of water.

Can I drink Alabama tap water? ›

Most tap water in Alabama meets federal drinking water standards, but that doesn't mean that it is free of contaminants like arsenic, lead and potentially harmful disinfection byproducts.

Can we drink Birmingham tap water? ›

“Because we have some of the best water here in our water system, you can drink straight from the tap.

Is tap water safe to drink in Birmingham Alabama? ›

Birmingham Water Works customers can be confident that their drinking water is high-quality and meets or surpasses the strict standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

Is there gold in petrified wood? ›

Yes it is very possible. The wood would create a locally reducing environment (common association of reduced minerals in petrified wood - uranium minerals in SW US) Gold has also been found in petrified cypress from Nevada. Native silver is also found in petrified wood from New Mexico.

Why can't you take rocks from Petrified Forest? ›

In the 1930s, visitors to the Petrified Forest began to report that after taking a piece of petrified wood from the park, they were seemingly cursed with bad luck. This curse continues today, and is now a part of the park's history.

Can you drive thru the Petrified Forest? ›

If you are short on time, drive through Petrified Forest National Park. With its 28 miles of paved park roads, it's a convenient one-way drive through the park. You can start at either the north or south entrances.

How much is a pound of petrified wood worth? ›

Because some petrified wood can be found for cheap, collectors may question whether it's worth collecting at all, at least from a monetary perspective. Petrified wood does have value to both collectors and jewelry makers, and it is priced between $0.25 and $10.00 a pound depending on its quality and size.

What crystal grows on petrified wood? ›

Petrified wood consists of crystals of silicon dioxide (SiO2) also known as quartz. The crystals in petrified wood are usually microscopic and create a look similar to opaque jasper.

Is black petrified wood worth anything? ›

Here's the quick answer to what petrified wood is worth. Assuming that the specimens you have are of decent lapidary quality that a buyer would be able to make jewelry out of, you could expect to sell petrified wood between $. 25 and $10.00 per pound.

Can petrified wood be faked? ›

Petrified wood can both mimic and be mimicked by other rocks and minerals.

Can you wash petrified wood? ›

Petrified wood should never be cleaned with chemicals. When cleaning petrified wood, opt for a mild cleanser or a natural one. Mild hand soaps and apple cider vinegar are good options to clean petrified wood. These should be enough to remove dirt and grime from your wood and leave it looking clean and fresh.

Is petrified wood rare? ›

Petrified wood is exceptionally rare - only a small proportion can be cut and polished into specimens. As a result, it becomes prized by collectors who truly appreciate its magnificence.

Did the Gulf of Mexico used to be land? ›

Covering over 1.6 million square kilometres, the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest and oldest water bodies on Earth. It was formed in the late Triassic period, around 300 million years ago. Prior to this, the region was land that extended from the Yucatan continental crust.

What did the Gulf of Mexico used to be called? ›

The Spanish name most often applied to it was Seno Mexicano (seno='gulf" or 'bay'), although it was occasionally referred to as Golfo de Nueva España, or Golfo de México."

How did the Gulf of Mexico become a dead zone? ›

What Causes the Dead Zone? Heavy rains and melting snows washed massive amounts of nutrients—particularly nitrogen and phosphorus—from lawns, sewage treatment plants, farm land and other sources along the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.

Was there land in the Gulf of Mexico? ›

Before the Late Triassic, the area now occupied by the Gulf of Mexico consisted of dry land, which included continental crust that now underlies Yucatán, within the middle of the large supercontinent of Pangea.

How did Mexico lost its land to the US? ›

This treaty, signed on February 2, 1848, ended the war between the United States and Mexico. By its terms, Mexico ceded 55 percent of its territory, including the present-day states California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming.

Why did Mexico lost land? ›

A border skirmish along the Rio Grande that started off the fighting was followed by a series of U.S. victories. When the dust cleared, Mexico had lost about one-third of its territory, including nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Who sold Mexico to the US? ›

Santa Anna refused to sell a large portion of Mexico, but he needed money to fund an army to put down ongoing rebellions, so on December 30, 1853 he and Gadsden signed a treaty stipulating that the United States would pay $15 million for 45,000 square miles south of the New Mexico territory and assume private American ...

Why is the Gulf of Mexico so famous? ›

The Gulf of Mexico is recognized worldwide as a vast and productive body of water with tremendous value in ecological, economic, and social terms. The Gulf's vastness and diversity often mask the fundamental relationships between the living and the non-living workings of the ecological system.

Why is it called a gulf? ›

A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, typically with a narrower opening than a bay, but that is not observable in all geographic areas so named. The term gulf was traditionally used for large highly-indented navigable bodies of salt water that are enclosed by the coastline.

What is the Gulf known for? ›

Commercial, sport, and recreational fishing thrive in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil deposits sit beneath the western Gulf of Mexico. Both Mexico (in the Bay of Campeche) and the U.S. (mainly around the coasts of Texas and Louisiana) have oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is the Gulf of Mexico so dirty? ›

It was caused by high levels of nutrient runoff into the Mississippi River that left the water emptying into the Gulf of Mexico with high levels of nitrogen.

Is the Gulf of Mexico still a dead zone? ›

The numbers are in. The 2021 Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone, or Dead Zone, an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life near the bottom of the sea, measures six thousand three hundred and thirty four square miles. This year's dead zone is larger than the average measured over the past five years.

How do dead zones affect humans? ›

Elevated nutrient levels and algal blooms can also cause problems in drinking water in communities nearby and upstream from dead zones. Harmful algal blooms release toxins that contaminate drinking water, causing illnesses for animals and humans.

How deep is the deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico? ›

How Deep is the Gulf of Mexico? The deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico, Sigsbee Deep, is estimated to be around 14,383 feet deep while the average depth is around 5,300 feet.

How deep is the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles out? ›

The average depth of the Gulf of Mexico is approximately 1,600 meters, or 5,200 feet. However, in portions such as The Sigsbee Deep, which is 2 miles southwest of Brownsville, Texas, the depths reach up to 4,384 meters, or 14,383 feet!

What is the largest Gulf on earth? ›

The Gulf of Mexico is the largest gulf in the world.


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