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'Dinosaurs walked in it': the oldest forest on the planet is located in New York

'15.01.2024'

Alina Prikhodko

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Scientists have confirmed the existence of the world's oldest forest - and it's an ancient secret site, reports New York Post, is just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

The forest was first discovered at the bottom of an abandoned quarry near the city of Cairo in the Catskill Mountains back in 2009. Experts have been working to discover the exact age of the plants and trees growing in the area, where fossilized treasures are said to contain rocks up to 385 million years old.

Researchers from SUNY Binghamton and Cardiff University in Wales were delighted to find evidence of very early plants—some of which “even dinosaurs could see.”

The forest, located just over two hours from NYC's George Washington Bridge, once stretched over an area of ​​about 400 km. Soil researchers are said to have focused their efforts on an area roughly half the size of a football field.

“The Cairo site is very special,” said Christopher Berry, a paleobotanist at Cardiff University. – You are walking along the roots of ancient trees. Standing on the surface of the quarry, we can recreate in our imagination the living forest around us.”

For years, Berry and his colleagues studied fossils of plants and trees in the area to help them build their version. The New York site joins more remote locations such as the Amazon rainforest and Japan's Yakushima Forest in the elite group of O.G.

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Those wishing to visit this particular site will be disappointed, at least for now - the quarry is owned by the city of Cairo and is currently strictly reserved for scientific research due to conservation concerns.

However, there is a lot to see in the area. Windham Mountain Ski Resort and the trendy shopping and dining of Hudson are just a short drive away, and the hiking trails of Catskill Park are right on Cairo's doorstep.

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