Underwater Forest Discovered: How Old?
Sixty feet down in Gulf waters off the coast of Alabama, stumps of an old cypress forest have appeared. How can they be 52,000 years old when the wood still smells like cypress?
The discovery was reported by Live Science. It includes a five-minute video tour of the area which the discoverers are keeping secret till it can be thoroughly documented. Hundreds of Bald Cypress stumps as large as two meters in diameter are found over a half-square-mile area, several miles from the coast of Mobile, Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico. Fish, anemones and other marine creatures have taken up residence in the forest, causing it to decay more rapidly.
The video clip claims the stumps are 12,000 years old, but the text says they have been radiocarbon dated at 52,000 years old. The article claims that they might have been uncovered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Before that, they may have been covered in sand, preventing oxygen from accelerating decomposition.
Yet it appears incredible the trees could be that old. For one thing, “The forest contains trees so well-preserved that when they are cut, they still smell like fresh Cypress sap,” one of the divers said. For another, are scientists ready to claim that no hurricane of Katrina’s proportions occurred in the alleged 12,000 years since the trees sank below the surface? Now, the trees are decaying so rapidly, the discoverers fear scientists only have two years to examine the site and perform more radiocarbon or tree-ring date calculations. Divers said they could break off chunks of the wood with their hands.
Update 7/30/13: Live Science reported that the wood is so fresh, efforts are underway to protect the forest before developers start harvesting it! “If salvage companies get their way, an underwater forest of 50,000-year-old trees only recently discovered could be destroyed to make high-end coffee tables.” No one is questioning the credibility of the date. “The trees were in such pristine condition that fresh sap oozed from the stumps when they were cut,” the article said.
Learn to ask the questions the reporters don’t ask. None of them ever questions the evolutionary dates, even when they lead to absurdities, like expecting fresh-smelling wood to be 52,000 years old, or asking people to believe thousands of years went by with no hurricanes strong enough to expose the forest. And how did the forest last as it gradually sank, unless a catastrophe buried it rapidly? The presence of this preserved forest silently cries for a recent catastrophe.
Creationists argue that radiocarbon dates are unreliable before the Flood, because the atmosphere changed drastically. Putting that together with the evolutionary absurdities, we can reason that the forest was probably buried around the time of the Flood or after. It’s a stretch, though, to think five thousand years went by without a disturbance, so it may be younger than that. The old date for such fresh wood, though, is clearly incredible.