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Sixty feet beneath the green waves of the Gulf of Mexico, 10 miles from the nearest land, stands an ancient forest of giant trees.
Covered in dense carpets of sea anemones, crawling with spidery arrow crabs and toadfish, the sprawling stumps of massive cypress trees spread across the seafloor.
Unmistakable to eyes that have seen the cypress growing today in the swamps of the Gulf Coast, the trunks bear the jagged, craggy outline that is the hallmark of the species. Away from each stump lies another clue, a telltale ring of cypress knees, the knobby wood outgrowths believed to help the trees survive in the soupy mud of the South's river deltas.
The trees run along a small drop off along the Gulf's bottom south of the Fort Morgan peninsula. For hundreds of yards