Submerged forests are the sites where one can see already dead tree stumps or evolved plants that lie submerged under water. The water bodies that include such ecosystems vary from sea, lake or any other.
The stumps lie submerged in water, mud or sand for thousands of years and only come out when the sea level changes. Such submerged forests remain as host to various kinds of flora and fauna. Some submerged forests remain as host to Mantis shrimp, crabs, anemones, grouper, and red snappers.
Now some science behind its long lasting preservation
As the submerged stumps come out to the surface after the decrease of water level, they are preserved in the tightly held sediment of mud and sand that doesn’t contain oxygen.
They stay in such a state for thousands of years and eventually turn into a host for a variety of species of flora and fauna. Various reasons for their formation include blockage of a river valley by either a landslide or man made dam.
Submerged forests around the world
There are many sites of submerged forest that are formed either naturally or through manmade intervention. Forests such as these emit a spooky aura due to its dense formation and locations surrounding it.
Here are some world-famous submerged forests:
Sunken forests of Lake Kaindy
This site is in Kazakhstan and is located above 2000 metre above sea level. The forest also has an impressive depth of 400 metres below water level. This site was formed after an earthquake in 1911 resulting in the formation of a gorge and a natural dam which was filled by rainwater eventually. And what’s most fascinating is that due to the frigid water of the lake, the pine trees beneath the water level still remain intact to this day.
Lake Bezid of Romania
This site is located in the Transylvania region of Romania. This is not just a location for submerged forest but a submerged village as a whole. The whole village was flooded in 1988 by the artificial dam in the area. Today just the church towers remain visible waving to a bygone era of the bustling village.
Periyar lake of India
This is an artificial reservoir that is located in Periyar National park, Kerala. Many animals were displaced at the point of completion of the dam. Eventually the reservoir got back to life and has become a host to a number of flora and fauna. However, the water isn’t much clear compared to other submerged forests and one can only see the tree stumps above the water level.
Lake Caddo of the United States
This submerged forest is locally known as a swamp in the US. This site has been featured in various TV shows as well. The most distinct feature of this site are the Cypress trees whose unique canopy coverage creates shade on the banks as well as the water level where their roots lie.
Cardigan Bay of Wales
This site bears the sign of a passing time of more than thousands of years. Cardigan bay is located in North Wales and is known for its sunken forest. Even though there are no more forests, one can still see the stumps that are left after being overtaken by the ocean. However, the stumps are always visible due to various conditions like tides, winds etc.
Lake Volta of Ghana
Lake Volta is the largest made made reservoir in the world. This was made during the construction of the Akosombo hydroelectric project which went on to eventually power the whole country.
The reservoir was actually a human settlement in the past as this project had to relocate 78,000 people and 200,000 animals upon its completion. Along the way, numerous houses and buildings were destroyed and now only a huge number of dead trees emerge from the waters.