Mitä saattoi tapahtua kun 10 neliökilometriä trooppista metsää hautautui äkillisesti merenpinnan alle ja löytyi äskettäin hiilikerrostuman päältä 100 metrin syvyydestä?
"They have 10 square kilometres of a single forest that was essentially buried alive. It's really the first time we can see the forest for the trees."
The forest was buried in mud 300 million years ago when a large earthquake or other catastrophic event caused the entire region to suddenly drop below sea level. The fossilised forest lay preserved on top of a layer of coal that, when removed by miners, left the ancient forest visible on the mine ceiling.
Researchers have uncovered a 300-million-year–old-fossilised rainforest, buried deep below ground in a coal mine in Illinois, US. It is by far the largest such forest ever found and provides an unprecedented look at the ecology of one of the world's earliest tropical forests.