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NEW ORLEANS -- An ancient forest discovered about 10 miles off the Alabama coast that was first thought to be 12,000 is far more ancient than that.

Researchers now think the forest existed at least 50,000 years ago, and that it thrived for almost 2,000 years before it was buried deep below the ocean floor.

A local fisherman first spotted the area after Hurricane Katrina.

It was previously buried below sediment, creating an oxygen-free environment ideal for preserving the ancient wood.

Once uncovered, it has morphed into an artificial reef, quickly becoming home to all kinds of sea life.

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