Staggering Discovery: 298-million-year-old forest found below Chinese coal mine

Staggering Discovery: 298-million-year-old forest found below Chinese coal mine

Philadelphia : PA : USA | Mar 02, 2012 at 7:07 AM PST
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The Wonders of Pompeii

Report By: Nina Rai

Pennsylvania, 02 March, 2012

Scientists from US and China were completely dumbfounded to discover a massive 298- million-year-old fossilized forest buried in perfect condition under a coal mine near Wuda, in Inner Mongolia, China.

Researchers are already calling it the ‘Pompeii of the Permian period’ since like the ancient Roman city, this marshy forest land too was covered and preserved by volcanic ash.

This swampy jungle is in such perfect condition that scientists know exactly where each plant originally was. As a result they are able to map the plants and even create the image as shown above.

According to Hermann Pfefferkorn, Paleobotanist, at the University of Pennsylvania this incredible discovery "is like Pompeii", and has gone so far as to typify it as "a time capsule."

Hermann says: “It's marvelously preserved. We can stand there and find a branch with the leaves attached and then we find the next branch and the next branch and the next branch. And then we find the stump from the same tree. That's really exciting,” he adds.

It may be noted that archeologists during the Pompeii discovery had well-preserved remains of humans, animals and buildings at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius, in the Campania region close to Naples, Italy.

Similarly in the Wudu region too, researchers are finding entire trees and plants exactly as they were during the time of the volcanic eruption. However there is one major difference between the two findings.

In case of Pompeei findings, the region was buried in AD 79, while in case of the latest discovery; the forest here was covered in ash a staggering 298-million-years-ago, during the Permian period.

The latest discovery comprised of 10,763-sq.ft ( area concealed under a coal-mine. It was found using heavy industrial machinery. Archaeologists opine this frozen-in-time fossilized forest was covered under massive tons of ash that fell from the sky for several days.

For more details check source: Gizmodo

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Destroyed by Mt.Vesuvius on the 24th. August 79AD. Lost for 1600 years before being discovered again in 1748. POMPEII
Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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