Breakthrough Discovery: Ancient Forest Secrets Revealed in Cairo, New York

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Stunning the world, an ancient forest was discovered in an abandoned quarry in Cairo, New York. This marks a turning point in Earth’s history as it featured root impressions that are 385 million years old. 

Unexpectedly the famous Gilboa fossil forest is a stone’s throw away from Cairo, New York.

If reports are to go by, this ancient forest is estimated to span approximately 400 square kilometres. This makes it one of the oldest forests known to humanity with its roots predating Japan’s Yakushima Forest and the Amazon rainforest.

Dr Charles Ver Straeten is a Devonian geologist and curator of sedimentary rocks at the New York State Museum and was part of discovering the world’s oldest forest in Cairo. 

In 2009 one day, Ver Straeten and his colleagues Linda Van Aller Hernick and Frank Mannolini noticed an unusual gutter-like imprint while digging out. 

Over the years, the trio traced the impressions of 11 large root systems on the World’s ancient forest floor. With the help of a drone, they studied 3 large imprints of the roots to understand their role in the environmental history. 

Researchers continue to uncover the mysteries of these ancient trees, which could provide valuable insights into the evolution of prehistoric forest ecosystems and climate changes.

To touch base upon other such ancient forests dating back million years are 

  • Daintree Rainforest, in Australia: over 180 million years
  • Tasmania’s Tarkine Rainforest: over 65 million years old
  • Bialowieza Forest in Poland: >8000 years 
  • Sequoia National Park in the United States – giant sequoia trees: over 3,000 years. 
  • India’s Western Ghats ranges – freshwater swamp forests: Over millions of years.
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